Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa has paid tribute members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces for their dedication and service to the country.
In a message to commemorate the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Day, Chamisa saluted the forces for their commitment despite challenges.
“Today is an important day, a historic day, one penned in the history of the birth of our nation Zimbabwe by the sacrifices and toil of many men, women and children who paid the ultimate price to liberate this nation. To our revered uniformed forces, to all our men and women in uniform of all ranks – top to bottom, we love and honour you all. I salute you, our dedicated men and women in uniform on the occasion of this special day, a day to celebrate our Defence Forces.
“Indeed, I salute and duly acknowledge the unstinting and committed service that you, our patriotic security services, continue to render to our beloved beautiful country-Zimbabwe, even under extremely difficult circumstances and challenges. Soldiers, like the Police Service, Prison Service and Intelligence Service are badges of patriotism, symbols of the State and embodiment of the collective will of a people. The security forces are above party politics. You stand for country not party.
“Except in rare moments when partisan politics toxifies the esteemed Defence Forces establishment, I, with pride and honour, salute our men and women in uniform for their versatility and adeptness in defending national and regional security. As the uniformed force you are the protector of our resources, protector of our heritage, protector of independence, protector of the citizens, protector of our people and indeed protectors of our sovereignty and dignity as a people.
“We recognize and cherish this vital role. You do this for the benefit of your beloved country and not for the benefit of a political leader or individual politicians. Politicians come and go, serve and leave – but you are a permanent citizens’ institution. You are patriots. Patriotism is non-partisan,” said Chamisa
He added “As citizens, we affirm our respect and honour to you our national pride. We salute you as one of our national institutions, a Citizens’ institution. And as patriotic men and women, you have volunteered to play a patriotic role in national identity, growth and self determination. We honour and respect you by shaming and condemning those who seek to undermine the great you have been for our great country. We will honour and respect you by advocating and providing decent wages and living conditions commensurate with the pivotal and vital role you play
“Above all, we advocate that you have a fair share of our resources, decent housing and title deeds. We’ll honour and respect you by condemning the unnecessary, unwarranted and unmerited purging or discrimination on tribal & patronage basis at the expense of merit and service. I salute you and the people of Zimbabwe who gave their children, their brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, uncles and aunts to liberate and protect this great nation. Let’s build and work together for a better and prosperous Zimbabwe. God bless our Security Forces!”