Development Politics

Nelson Chamisa pays tribute to Zimbabwe Defence Forces

Nelson Chamisa

President of the MDC Alliance Nelson Chamisa has paid tribute to the security forces and reiterated that the Defence Forces Day was set aside to honour the men and women who have dedicated themselves to defend the nation of Zimbabwe.

The politician said the defence forces form the backbone of any nation and Zimbabwe is no exception. He cited the Constitution (Sections 211 and 212)  that recognises the role and significance of the defence forces in the country’s body politic, in safeguarding the territorial integrity.
“We salute and duly recognise the unstinting and committed service that our patriotic soldiers continue to render to their beloved country, even under these extremely difficult circumstances. As a nation, we fought a just war of liberation, and the dedication, sacrifice and patriotism of the sons and  daughters of this land deserves our veneration and utmost respect.


“We are thankful to the men and women in uniform for the sacrifices and service to the nation in fulfilling their constitutional mandate and national duty. Over the years, our defence forces have earned accolades for the work they have performed on international duty, in peace-keeping missions across the world. We honour them for raising the national flag. They have also done fantastic community work in our rural areas, and their recent efforts in the wake of Cyclone Idai deserve special mention. This indeed is the kind of work that endears the defence forces to the public,” Chamisa said.


He was quick to say that whilst the constitution recognises the key role of the defence forces, it also lays down the foundation for a smooth relationship with other branches of the body politic, setting the boundaries of what they can or cannot do.
“This is why we continue to encourage our defence forces to uphold the values of professionalism, respect, forbearance and non-partisanship. We know that the majority of our defence forces are bound and are faithful to their oaths as defenders of the nation. The few who stray beyond the  lines of professionalism should never be allowed to taint the entire institution.This taint can be cleansed by holding to account those who have  strayed away from their constitutional prescriptions. Regrettably, we have lost innocent lives in the past year at the hands of such elements.

“We echo public and international sentiment of accountability for these losses to prevent a culture of impunity and immunity. Considering the recent killings of civilians on the 1st of August 2018 and around the 15th of January, which has eroded the confidence of our people, I would like to encourage our Defence Forces to swiftly address concerns about impartiality on partisan politics, respect for human rights and subordination to civilian authority as enshrined under our constitution. To this end, I am quite encouraged by the comments made by the National Army Commander, Lieutenant General Edzai Absolom Chanyuka  Chimonyo, and Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander, General Philip Valerio Sibanda. Both Generals have recently and passionately spoken about the need for a professional, disciplined and non-partisan Defence Force which protects Zimbabwe, its citizens, its national security, its interests, its territorial integrity and more importantly, to uphold the Constitution of the land. We remember with a profound sense of humility the songs of liberation such as Nzira dzemasoja and Tinoda Zimbabwe neupfumi hwayo hwese, great motivational anthems that also constitute a code of conduct for our defence forces.”


About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende