The Air Force of Zimbabwe stands ready to defend the country’s Constitution and has objected to the notion that soldiers should be confined to the barracks as nothing in life can be achieved without security.
Air Force of Zimbabwe Commander Air Marshal Perrance Shiri said the liberation struggle was fought for the sovereign legitimacy of Zimbabwe.
He said they would remain indebted to the brave heroes of both the First and Second Chimurenga who fought for the liberation of Zimbabwe.
Air Marshal Shiri said this while addressing senior military officers at the National Defence College on Tuesday.
Quoting a wide range of academic literature, Air Marshal Shiri said the roles of the air force were broad to ensure that they fulfilled both military requirements of the country.
“The need to defend and preserve this sovereign legitimacy gave birth to a Constitution that the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the Air Force of Zimbabwe in particular remain ever ready to defend . . . “As you are already aware, other authors have objected the inclusion of non-traditional threats in the security framework hence the belief that the military should be confined to the barracks.
“However, Lawrence argues that defence of the nation against infectious diseases is an altogether different problem than defence against ballistic missile attack but those concerned with preventing and ending conflicts will have a responsibility to address these dangers at the same time as more traditional military threats.
In this regard, Air Marshal Shiri said an assessment of the Air Force of Zimbabwe’s capabilities should be done in line with modern approaches to security.
He, however, said the Air Force of Zimbabwe was not spared by the ruinous sanctions imposed on the country by the West.
“Our post-independence sour relations with the West set in motion by Zimbabwe’s expedition to ward off neo-colonialism energised our erstwhile colonisers to pursue punitive social, political and economic policies against Zimbabwe under the guise of democratisation, human rights, rule of law and economic liberalisation,” said Air Marshal Shiri.
“This complex relationship characterised by illegal sanctions and regime change machinations turned to become the primary cause of social economic stagnation and subsequent regression among Zimbabweans. These policies have not spared the Air Force of Zimbabwe. For the past decade the organisation has not been able to fully upgrade or replace its equipment in meeting post-Cold War realities and challenges.”
Air Marshal Shiri said the West was also sabotaging local progressive policies such as Zim-Asset through sponsoring agents of regime change.
As part of the force’s vision, Air Marshal Shiri said they wanted to retool the organisation with modern air equipment among other things. herald