THE Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) General Philip Valerio Sibanda has implored security forces to be exemplary by advocating for peace and prosperity.
Officiating at the second edition of the Sadc Inter-State Defence and Security Committee (ISDSC) Spiritual and Moral Support Working Group (SMSWG) conference here yesterday, Gen Sibanda appealed to all defence forces’ members in Sadc to pray for peace in the region.
“Chaplains wield influence on commanders, troops, churches and the public as they hold an important place in the community.
“A positive consequence of this realisation will hopefully reduce cases of waywardness among men and women of the cloth and provide workable solutions to the spiritual, moral and social problems of the Sadc defence forces,” said Gen Sibanda.
“As you wield a lot of influence on a lot people, don’t abuse that influence, use it wisely. Let’s pray for our region to have peace, good rains and for prosperity.”
He challenged chaplains and all members to continuously sharpen their skills to match the changing social trends and the expectations of a modern soldier.
The three-day conference, which started on Monday, is a meeting of chaplains from Sadc countries under the banner of the Sadc Military Chaplaincy Services to equip them with requisite knowledge and skills that will impact positively on their performance at work, church and family level.
The conference also saw ZDF’s Colonel Joseph Nyakudya taking over the ISDSC chairmanship from Zambia Army Brigadier General Vincent Mwenya as Zimbabwe assumed the rotational organ’s seat for the next one year.
Brig Gen Andrew Jamangile of South Africa National Defence Force challenged soldiers to remain loyal to authority in all their postings.
He said discipline impresses commanders and leaders, adding that chaplains help keep morale high among armies.
“You cannot be a chaplain without coming through a particular church.
“We are chaplains because of our churches as we are technically seconded by the church which reserves the right to withdraw that privilege while the military reserves the right to discharge you if you don’t serve according to the code. We must respect authority and our churches,” said Brig Gen Jamangile.
The theme for the conference is: “2019, the year of exceeding the expected” which was derived from ZDF spiritual theme for this year.
Countries represented are Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa and Zambia.