LATEST: Air Force Commander SPEAKS OUT!

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The Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) is committed to serving the nation by continuing to lend a helping hand to communities wherever possible.

Addressing troops that participated in a clean-up assistance to mark the Community Assistance Week at Manyame Secondary School under strict Covid-19 guidelines, Manyame Airbase Commander, Air Commodore Elisha Masakadza, said the ZDF was working flat out to ensure communities were kept in a friendly and peaceful environment.

He said this year, the Community Assistance Week, was being run under the theme “The ZDF creating a conducive environment for the attainment of Vision 2030”, while Defence Forces Day celebrations will be held under the theme “ZDF: Celebrating 40 years of Excellent Service to the People”.

“As the ZDF, we are officers, men and women, who live within the communities and as such we should continuously extend a helping hand to those around us wherever possible,” said Air Commodore Masakadza.

“Throughout the entire nation, ZDF personnel are working flat out to ensure that communities surrounding them are kept in an environment friendly and peaceful manner.”

The Community Assistance Week outreach this year has been affected by the global Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, and the national lockdown, which has restricted movement and gatherings.

“Today, we face the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, we have encountered a setback in our Community Assistance Week as we are no longer able to perform all our outreach programmes as planned,” he said.

Air Commodore Masakadza said the continuous growth of the relationship between communities and the ZDF was a demonstration of the mutual co-operation, spirit of oneness and unity of purpose between the ZDF and the community.

“The relationship we are strengthening will go a long way as there cannot be soldiers without civilians and yet equally important the peaceful environment enjoyed in the country can be traced to the vigilance expressed by those who protect the nation,” he said.

In Gweru, Josiah Tungamirai Airforce Base’s commander, Air Commodore Marcelino Jaya, said on Thursday that the Airforce of Zimbabwe will continue to work with communities in which it operates to achieve the country’s vision of attaining an upper middle class economy by 2030.

Air Commodore Jaya, who joined the airbase staff which was cleaning Thornhill Primary School to mark the Defence Forces Community Assitance Week, said the Airforce of Zimbabwe will continue engaging in community development projects throughout the year. “We mark our Community Assistance Week, but this doesn’t mean we only work with the community for the next coming weeks and then retreat,” he said.

“We have always worked with the community because we are a people’s defence forces. Our duty is to assist our communities with whatever they want from their defence forces, this is why we have been embarking on various developmental projects in the province (Midlands).”

Air Commodore Jaya said with schools closed for sometime this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there had been much renovations work needed in schools, hence their decision to mark the Community Assistence Week at Thornhill Primary.

He said due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the airbase members will be working on projects that did not compromise the prevention of the deadly disease. He said Josiah Tungamirai Airbase was adopting a section of the highway just outside the airbase and was greening the section to give it some ambiance.

While ZDF’s primary role is to jealously safeguard Zimbabwe’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and vital national interests, it is also constitutionally mandated to perform other secondary roles.

The Community Assistance Week is run yearly in August, during the week prior to the Defence Forces Day, which this year falls on Tuesday next week.

— Chronicle


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