Home » Sports » Zimbabweans, Diplomats Hail Defence Forces for Keeping the Peace

Zimbabweans and diplomats accredited to the country, yesterday applauded the Zimbabwe Defence Forces for maintaining peace and stability in the country for the past 36 years, despite the sanctions-induced economic hardships the country is experiencing. Diplomats, local leaders and members of the public who attended the Zimbabwe Defence Forces' 36th anniversary at the National Sports Stadium in Harare yesterday, cherished the peace and stability Zimbabwe has enjoyed over the years.Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mohamed Cheij Saleh, congratulated Zimbabweans for maintaining peace for the past 36 years.

He said the maintenance of peace was one of the greatest achievements of the liberation struggle.

"This is a great achievement for Zimbabwe after its independence. This achievement is a result of love and the sacrifice of the people of Zimbabwe.

"As a representative of the Republic of Saharawi, the people who are still fighting for independence and the last colony in Africa, I am so proud to see and witness the peace in Zimbabwe. This shows there is capacity in Africa. Zimbabwe has made progress even in its Constitution. I hope this will lead to more progress in the country," he said.

The United Nations resident coordinator Bishow Parajuli, applauded Zimbabwe for its contributions towards the maintenance of peace internationally.

"The ZDF is an important division that has contributed to international peace. The army is important for peace and tranquillity and security for every country," he said.

French Ambassador to Zimbabwe Laurent Delahousse said, Zimbabweans were blessed to live in a peaceful country since Independence.

He expressed gratitude to the Zimbabwe Defence Forces for participating in international peace keeping missions and urged them to continue abiding by the Constitution even under economic hardships.

"Zimbabwe has been blessed in the past 36 years not to experience outside aggression. As France, we have been grateful to the Zimbabwe Defence Forces for participating in international peacekeeping operations. Zimbabwe is very active.

"It is true that today we have budgetary constraints, and it is more difficult, but I hope that Zimbabwe will maintain peace and will continue to contribute to peacekeeping in Africa, and all over the world.

"The army in any country is a very important institution. The army keeps peace, order and also contributes to peace- keeping inside the country. The army should be a constitutional organisation that abides by the law and that is not supposed to be involved in political matters. The army is a State institution and not a party institution and I hope the army will continue in the same spirit of maintaining peace in Zimbabwe," he said.

The country's traditional leadership said Zimbabweans were now living peacefully in the country because of the Defence Forces.

They said people were independent to participate in different activities unlike during the colonial regime where they were restricted even to walk in some areas.

Chief Chimukoko of Mudzi said she was grateful for the peace that was prevailing in the country because of the efforts of the Defence Forces.

"We hope we will maintain this peace. Freedom fighters and the defence forces are important and we should cherish their contributions," she said.

Chief Chundu of Hurungwe said Zimbabweans now had the freedom to freely walk in their country and participate in economic activities.

"We were in bondage before Independence, but because of other people's sacrifices we now enjoy peace," he said.

Harare resident, Mrs Lorene Magadu, said Zimbabwe was peaceful unlike other countries that were always at war.

"I was born just before Independence, and I have enjoyed peace. I hope we will not experience any civil unrest or wars in future. Some countries are not stable and people are perishing because of the wars and unrest. This is different from Zimbabwe where we carry out our daily routines without fear," she said.

Mr Phineas Mungava said he was grateful to the ZDF not only for maintaining peace, but also for engaging in other non military activities.

"The army is also assisting the less privileged, and building schools in different areas. Even during strikes, we see them at hospitals saving lives. I am grateful to the forces and I hope Zimbabweans will give them due respect," he said.

Source: The Herald.