The Zimbabwe National Army will defend the country from aggressors bent on disturbing national peace and security, Commander ZNA Lieutenant-General Edzai Absolom Chakanyuka Chimonyo has said.
In an interview with the media yesterday at Josiah Magama Tongogara Barracks in Harare ahead of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces today, Lt-Gen Chimonyo said ZNA was ready to create a peaceful environment conducive for investment opportunities.
Lt-Gen Chimonyo said it was every investor’s wish to put his/her money into an environment which is stable and peaceful.
He said the ZNA would also not hesitate to intervene and assist the police in protecting the lives of civilians and property as provided for by the Constitution.
“The ZNA is a product of the Constitution of Zimbabwe (Section 211-218),” he said. “By defending the country from would be aggressors, maintaining public order, supporting civilian authorities in public emergencies, as well as deploying outside Zimbabwe in defence of the country’s national interests, the ZNA has managed to bring stability in the country.
“Stability in a country is where there is an enabling environment for investment, where citizens enjoy the freedoms of expression, worship, association, to mention only a few, hence the ZNA has managed to establish that.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police is the one which is mandated to protect the civilians. However, the police will call for our support as guided by the rules and regulations of our Constitution. The police can call us if they happen to get into problems that they are unable to maintain. When we come in, it is a situation where the police would say they need assistance to protect individuals or property.”
Lt-Gen Chimonyo said the long term effects of the new dispensation mantra that Zimbabwe is Open for Business will see the country enjoying cordial relations with neighbouring countries in the region and the global world.
He said this would also ensure that the country enjoys military cooperation and all other exchange programmes with friendly armies, as opposed to the isolation that was prevailing before the new dispensation.
Asked to comment on Operation Restore Legacy as the ZNA Commander, Lt-Gen Chimonyo said the operation was targeting criminals that had surrounded former President Mugabe, causing anxiety and despondency among the people of Zimbabwe. “Operation Restore Legacy was a people’s operation whose objective was to arrest potentially volatile, social, economic and political situation in the country,” he said. “The operation was launched to rescue the values and ethos of the liberation struggle that had been threatened by counter revolutionaries of the so-called G40 Cabal.
“As you may be aware, the operation witnessed millions of our people spontaneously taking to the streets regardless of their colour, religion, race, creed and political affiliations.
“The popular uprising by the people saw the voluntary resignation of the former President. (Robert Mugabe) If he had not resigned, the impeachment process by the legislature that had been set in motion by Parliament could have seen the ignominious end to the former Presidents’ political career and legacy.”
Lt-Gen Chimonyo said as the recently appointed Commandant, his vision was to provide a highly professional land force, while his mission was that of defending the sovereignty, territorial integrity and national interests of Zimbabwe.
He said he will contribute to regional and international peace.
Lt-Gen Chimonyo said members of the ZNA should always remember that they were an important pillar in the defence and security of the nation by promoting national cohesion that creates investor confidence, a driving factor towards socio-economic transformation.
“All members of the Zimbabwe National Army must be professional,” he said. “They must unquestionably remain loyal, patriotic and a disciplined force. All their operational activities must always be guided by the Constitution of Zimbabwe. As you know, the roles of the ZNA both primary and secondary are mandated from the Constitution.”