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Army builds bridge in Filabusi

by Staff reporter
14 Sep 2018 at 06:44hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe National Army has brought relief to Mapholisa villagers in Filabusi after building a bridge that links them to a school, clinic and other essential services.

Speaking at the official handover of the bridge, Commander of 1 Infantry Brigade, Brigadier-General Augustine Chipwere, said besides its national security duties, the army was involved in social welfare under its social responsibility projects.

"As the defence forces, our primary role is to defend Zimbabwe's sovereignty, territorial integrity and its vital national interests. One of our secondary roles is assistance to civil ministries where we carry out community assistance projects such as the one that we are handing over today.

"Through community assistance projects, the Zimbabwe Defence Forces does not only seek to build relations with the generality of the public but also endeavours to improve the livelihood of communities by extending a helping hand through the provision of our artisans," said Brig Gen Chipwere.

"Let me hasten to mention that the Zimbabwe Defence Forces gets involved in these projects through invitation by communities. As you might be aware, this project started in 2013 following an exercise that was conducted by 1 Infantry Brigade at Mayfair Dam.

"The exercise required the construction of a temporary bridge. The community around Mayfair Dam was invited to witness the exercise and in the process they appreciated the temporary bridge and an immediate request from the community leaders for the temporary bridge not to be dismantled so that it could assist children to cross the river especially during rainy season."

Brig Gen Chipwere said from the community request, the then Commander of the Zimbabwe National Army General Philip Valerio Sibanda directed 1 Infantry Brigade to assist the community in the construction of the bridge across Myezani River.

"It is important to state that in all the community assistance projects that we undertake, the ZNA only provides expertise and manpower while resource provision is the responsibility of the respective communities.

"We hope that the bridge is serving its intended purpose of facilitating children to cross the river particularly during the rainy season without any hindrance to their education. Furthermore, we hope that the bridge is also assisting the community to cut the travelling distance between Filabusi and Fort Rixon," he said.

"In addition to the construction of this bridge in Mapholisa community, the brigade has also constructed clinics and classroom blocks in several districts of Matabeleland South Province."

In 2016, the army built two classroom blocks at Zhopembe primary school in Beitbridge district.

In 2017, two schools in Bulilima district received two classroom blocks.

The army is currently embarking on building Mbamba and Inala clinics in Tsholotsho, Siyadindi clinic and Sinasengwe secondary school in Binga District.

The commander commended CBZ for assisting the community and called for more corporates to engage in social responsibility projects that empower communities.

The army is also involved in demining activities in Lusulu, Binga where the commander said people and livestock were exposed to deadly landmines planted by the Rhodesian regime during the war of liberation.

"I would also like to thank CBZ for their timely intervention when lack of resources was almost derailing the completion of this project. Your contribution to this project has made it possible that children from this community are not disadvantaged by lack of access to education," said Brig Gen Chipwere.

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