Nam commends Zim co-operation
Harare – Namibian Defence Force Commander, Major-General John Mutwa, has commended Zimbabwe for military co-operation that has seen its military instructors train the Namibian forces.
Maj-Gen Mutwa was in Zimbabwe on a five-day visit to exchange notes with his Zimbabwean counterpart, Lieutenant-General Phillip Valerio Sibanda.
This was Maj-Gen Mutwa’s first visit abroad since his appointment in April.
“In 2003, an agreement was signed on military co-operation and training. Although at the beginning we had problems, now we are realising the fruits of the agreement,” he said.
The Namibian army commander said they would support Zimbabwe in its fight against sanctions imposed by the US on its diamond industry.
“This also demonstrates the co-operation that exists between our two nations. I really appreciate your invitation, I have come and we have exchanged notes extensively. When I go back I shall see how best we can implement what we have agreed on,” he said.
Maj-Gen Mutwa said he had chosen to visit Zimbabwe first because of the strong and historic ties between the two nations.
“It was a question of prioritising where to go first, and I decided to come to Zimbabwe.
“I decided to come here for various reasons, one of them being our historical experiences in our peace operations in Angola and the DRC.
“We fought to save a member country of the region,” he said. Zimbabwe and Namibia fought side by side with Angola and the DRC under Operation Sovereign Legitimacy in a war that pitted them against rebels sponsored by Uganda and Rwanda.
In his speech, Zimbabwe National Army Commander, Lt-Gen Sibanda, said Zimbabwe and Namibia shared similar experiences.
“At defence forces level, the ZDF and the NDF share similar experiences of integration and the British military assistance, which as we now know today, was not always objective,” he said.
Lt-Gen Sibanda paid tribute to the leaders of the two nations for their wisdom in initiating co-operation in the military sphere.
“In fulfilment of the wisdom of our leaders, I want to note with satisfaction the enhancement of our relations during 2011 with the deployment of a ZNA instructors’ team to your country.
“It is my hope that the instruction and advice being rendered by the team is acceptable and if there is anything we can do to enhance this relationship let us know,” he said.
During his visit, the Namibian army commander also witnessed a pass-out parade in Mashonaland West province.