HARARE-- President Emmerson Mnangagwa says the government is committed to improving the working conditions for members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) to cushion them from the rising cost of living.

President Mnangagwa said the government was also seized with re-equipping the military, which currently uses outdated equipment.

My administration is committed to progressively and comprehensively addressing the conditions of service of our Defence Forces, inclusive of their housing needs, as the economy improves. In addition, my administration will also pay attention to re-equipping of our forces, whose equipment in some instances dates back to 30

years, he said when addressing Defence Forces Day commemorations here Tuesday.

President Mnangagwa commended the ZDF for their excellent performance and discipline in international forums such as United Nations peacekeeping missions.

This has significantly transformed our forces as major contributors to international peace and stability. In this regard, our officers have earned excellent international reputation, goodwill and confidence throughout the world," he said.

Several officers are currently deployed in Ethiopia, Lesotho, Somalia, South Sudan and at the UN headquarters. Most importantly, participation of our forces at that level helps to sharpen their skills, while at the same time improving their professional conduct and preparedness to defend Zimbabwe."

He said while his administration had given Zimbabweans the freedoms of expression and to demonstrate, those freedoms should never be misappropriated. We continue to call for restraint, peace and more peace throughout the country. The new dispensation has opened up the country's democratic and economic space and demonstrated that Zimbabwe's democracy has matured. This, however should never be abused, he said.

Defence Forces Day is an annual celebration and appreciation of the work of the ZDF.