The Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, General Constantino Chiwenga, has said people should not over-inflate their contributions to Zimbabwe’s development.
In an interview ahead with The Sunday Mail Gen Chiwenga also expressed his firm belief that there was light at the end of the tunnel of the country’s economic and political problems.
He said, “People who fought in the front are well-known and they never talk about it. We have so many great fighters, living and dead, and the majority of those are no longer with us. Those who are alive never move around claiming ‘I did this’ and ‘I did that’.
“Empty vessels make the most noise. If you were a great fighter let other people talk about you. That’s the way of all good fighters and leaders …
“There were also tasks that had to be done by those at the rear.
‘‘Some worked as logisticians, others were more important as instructors to train the fighters who were going to the front, others were educators like in the commissariat department because our policy was you would not hold a rifle until you understood why we were fighting.”
Turning to economic and political developments, the decorated war veteran said: “Yes, politically there were difficulties. This is why the country for the first time had to go into an inclusive Government with the opposition, and I don’t think I have to go into details on that one.
“We also had hyperinflation, and no country can parallel Zimbabwe, except Germany during the Weimar Republic and they did not get to where Zimbabwe was in 2008 …
“There is light at the end of the tunnel in terms of our economy. We are now striving to make sure that our infrastructure is built up, our industry and our manufacturing sector are fully operational.
“We are now on track when it comes to mining, and the only problem we are facing currently is the depressed prices of metal prices; but the price of gold is coming up and we are quite happy with that. . .This is not going to be for long, it is just a passing phase.”
He said the command agriculture thrust Government was pursuing would restore Zimbabwe’s regional bread-basket status.
“We are saying never again will we go to buy food outside the country. Never again will our country go hungry. We have the capability to produce enough for our people and to have reserves, and also have extra to sell to other countries and return our bread basket status.”
He went on: “Some people don’t realise that what the country went through takes time to recover from, but we are lucky that we have managed to bounce back within a very short time.
“We are on the right track and we are moving forward as we would expect, despite a few teething problems which are a passing phase.” sunday mail