The Herald (Zimbabwe)

President commission­s 136 officer cadets

- Munyaradzi Musiiwa Midlands Correspond­ent

PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday commission­ed 136 Officer Cadets at the 33rd Regular Officer Cadet Course graduation ceremony at the Zimbabwe Military Academy (ZMA) in Gweru.

Of these, 29 were female and five were Namibians.

Addressing graduands and Zimbabwe Defence Forces senior officers and generals, the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Mugabe said ZMA would soon become an affiliate of the National Defence University following the gazetting of the National Defence University Charter by Government in March this year.

“The collaborat­ion between the Zimbabwe Military Academy and Midlands State University enabled the graduands to study for a Diploma in Military Training and Education. As we remain indebted to Midlands State University, I would like to congratula­te the Zimbabwe Defence Forces that has had the National Defence University Charter gazetted by Government in March this year, a developmen­t that will see Zimbabwe Military Academy soon become an affiliate of the National Defence University. I am reliably informed that ZMA’s future courses will be graduating with degrees offered by the National Defence University,” he said.

President Mugabe also presented Unit and Formation Colours to five army establishm­ents which started in August last year during commemorat­ions of the Defence Forces Day.

Unit colours or flags in the army denote a symbol of a unit or a headquarte­r, which is a unifying symbol and the tradition dates back to the oldest armies.

“Today’s parade is a unique one. Besides the commission­ing of Regular Officer Cadet Course 3/33/15, I am greatly honoured, once again, to present Unit Colours to 5 Army establishm­ents. These are Zimbabwe Military Academy, Zimbabwe School of infantry, All Arms Battle School, Recruit Training Depot and One Air Defence Regiment.

“This marks the conclusion of the colours presentati­on ceremonies, following the presentati­on of Unit and Formation Colours on Defence Forces Day in August, 2016. I urge all units and formations to jealously safeguard their colours and to always ensure that all new members posted to the units are familiar with the meaning and history of the Unit Colours,” he said.

President Mugabe said Zimbabwe and Namibia enjoyed cordial relations that have seen Namibian cadets enrolled at ZMA for the past seven intakes.

He said the cooperatio­n between defence forces also enhanced security in the Sadc region.

“In light of our cordial relationsh­ip with the Republic of Namibia, the ZMA has for the past seven intakes enrolled a number of Namibia’s cadets to train simultaneo­usly with our own cadets. This cooperatio­n between defence forces enhances security in our two countries and the Sadc region,” he said.

President Mugabe also commended the resilience of the 29 female officer cadets who graduated among the regular officer cadets yesterday.

He said their participat­ion bolstered Government’s efforts for gender equality in all spheres of operation.

“Allow me to commend the resilience of 29 women officer cadets

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