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'Zimbabwe army plays critical role in border control operations'

by Staff reporter
13 Feb 2024 at 04:42hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) has played a critical role in maintaining peace and security in Matebeleland provinces through border control operations, as well as combating stock theft, which were becoming a threat to the cordial bilateral relations with the country's neighbours.

Commander ZNA Lieutenant General Anselem Nhamo Sanyatwe said this yesterday at Headquarters (HQ) 1 Infantry Brigade in Bulawayo while officiating at the handover-takeover ceremony of the outgoing brigade commander, Brigadier General Josphat Kudumba, and incoming Brigadier General George Chitsva, who becomes the 16th brigade commander since 1980.

Lt Gen Sanyatwe said the commitment to duty by Brig Gen Kudumba, especially in dealing with cattle rustling that was rampant in Matebeleland South, particularly in the areas of Shanyaugwe, Guyu and Mlambapele in the year 2022 and beyond, made a significant impact in the reduction of cattle rustling cases.

"Livestock was being rustled from neighbouring Botswana and vice versa, thereby causing some tensions between the neighbouring communities.

"Let me hasten to mention that the timely intervention by Brig Gen Kudumba has seen a drastic reduction in these activities and thus redeemed the Zimbabwe Defence Forces' image in the eyes of the general citizenry," he said.

"The formation has also managed to among other achievements maintain peace and stability within Matebeleland provinces through border control operations along the Zimbabwe-Republic of South Africa border, the Zimbabwe-Botswana border, and the Zimbabwe-Zambia border," said Lt Gen Sanyatwe.

He said ZNA has also actively participated in operations to maintain cleanliness and sanity in the province, a development that saw a reduction in the effects of illegal mining activities by gold panners along river lines, which subsequently resulted in the maintenance of a conducive environment that the business community can operate in an orderly, clean and tranquil environment.

Lt Gen Sanyatwe said in line with the army's constitutional mandate, troops were to provide military aid to civil communities, and to that end 1 Infantry Brigade has over the years continued to assist disadvantaged communities to implement various projects across the provinces.

These projects include the construction and completion of Mbamba Clinic in Tsholotsho, a classroom block at Zhompembe in Beitbridge, a footbridge across Simukwe River in Makorokoro, and a double-storey classroom at Mpopoma High School while various other projects are awaiting official handover to the school authorities once completed.

"I am particularly impressed by the timely intervention the formation made in the construction of modern accommodation for doctors at Mpilo General Hospital. This came after the whole complex was destroyed by fire," said Lt Gen Sanyatwe.

"The passion with which Brig Gen Kudumba has been handling these community projects is commendable and is critical in the ZNA's endeavour to improve the livelihoods of the generality of our people and maintaining cordial relations through corporate social responsibility," he said.

Brig Gen Kudumba is being transferred to head the army's mechanization brigade in the capital. Meanwhile, Lt Gen Sanyatwe described Brig Gen Chitsva as an accomplished and decorated soldier with a high sense of loyalty and dedication to duty hence owing to his unquestionable loyalty, he has also served as an aide-de-camp to President Mnangagwa.

"I don't doubt that 1 Infantry Brigade and the provinces at large will benefit immensely from his experience during his stint. Let me hasten to say that the achievements made by 1 Infantry Brigade so far are a true reflection of the cordial working relations that exist among the security services," he said.

"I expect the incoming commander to work tirelessly towards the perpetuation of such synergies. I expect the formation to maintain if not surpass the level of proficiency, which has been the hallmark of 1 Infantry Brigade.

"Professional command and administration of a Brigade is an important element in building a disciplined army, which without any iota of doubt guarantees the nation's total security and stability," said Lt Gen Sanyatwe.

Brig Gen Chitsva will be in charge of three brigades – 1.1 combat group on the outskirts of Bulawayo, 1.2 battalion in Hwange, and 1.3 battalion based in the border town of Plumtree.

The colourful ceremony was witnessed by other security organs, Chief Ndondo, and senior Government officials.

Source - The Herald