|ZNA ready to protect sovereignty: Lt-Gen Sibanda|
|Saturday, 18 August 2012 19:03|
Lulu Brenda Harris
Sunday News Correspondent
THE Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) stands ready to protect the country’s sovereignty and crush any attempt by its enemies who desire to carry out a regime change, a senior army officer has said.
Speaking at a pass-out parade of 1 307 army recruits at Imbizo Barracks yesterday, Commander of the ZNA, Lieutenant General Philip Valerio Sibanda, said Western countries had sought to influence Zimbabweans’ mindset so they could protest in frustration against the Government but this, like other several other futile attempts, had failed.
The commander said Britain, the United States, the European Union and their allies were seeking to install a pliant government, one that would jump to selfish Western whims but as they have noticed Zimbabwe is strong.
Lt-Gen Sibanda said the burden of the illegal sanction was the reason why people were suffering yet the West thought they could use it to their advantage by making the people rise against the Government.
He highlighted how the sanctions were the inexcusable cause why the army, like other national institutions, was facing logistical challenges.
“These sanctions are the reason for the many inadequacies you (recruits) experienced during training but you didn’t allow them to interfere with your training until this day. The intentions of the Western countries on Zimbabwe are to push the people to rise and in so doing act to fulfil the Western countries’ ultimate objective,’’ he said.
But Lt-Gen Sibanda said the machinations of the West were to be squashed and the national army evidenced by the new recruits who took oaths, were willing to work for Zimbabwe’s interests.
“Remember you have taken an oath of allegiance to Zimbabwe. I repeat not for foreign interests,’’ he said.
The army commander said the army would not rest on its laurels and allow Zimbabwe to be recolonised through Western dirty tricks.
“Zimbabweans should be aware that a few years of suffering can’t be equated to a lifetime of bondage. This without doubt will happen if we are to allow the British and their American and European partners to come back and recolonise us through the backdoor using some of our misguided brothers and sisters as their agents,’’ he said.
Lt-Gen Sibanda said the duty of a responsible soldier, who believed in his or her country, was to be patriotic, loyal and defend the people.
“That’s why the course was specifically designed to make sure that the recruits attain personal qualities such as courage, resourcefulness, adaptability, a high standard of turnout and bearing among others,’’ he said.
The army commander said Zimbabweans had to pay tribute to their country, love and respect it because it is home.
Lt-Gen Sibanda gave an example of the national anthem, which he said was a country’s prayer and people had to boldly recite it, as a sign of faithfulness and devotion.