Commander of the Air Force of Zimbabwe Air Marshal Perence Shiri has said that the military will continue to take direction from civilian leadership and also promote the peace and stability of the country. This comes a few weeks after President Robert Mugabe warned the military to stay away from politics as that was tantamount to a coup.
Speaking to journalists in Harare ahead of Defence Forces Day on Tuesday, Air Marshal Shiri said
One of the legacies of the Air force of Zimbabwe since 1980 is subservience to political leadership.
We have co-existed with our politicians peacefully. We have complemented each other. Politicians give us direction, playing their role in mobilising people, while we concentrate on providing security to the people of Zimbabwe.
You may have heard the history of other African countries where whenever there were difficulties, the military was manipulated by other countries to destabilise the situation or even overthrow a democratically-elected Government.
We went through difficult phases, especially the Land Reform Programme, and earned ourselves a lot of enemies. Were it in other African or Third World countries, the military would have been used to destabilise the political programme.
Zimbabwe National Army Commander, Lieutenant-General Phillip Valerio Sibanda added:
We continuously assist Government and Government ministries like the Ministry of Transport. We have a number of officers who are helping that ministry to try and get the National Railways of Zimbabwe going through technicians.
More: Sunday Mail