THE Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) says it is taking a hit from the US imposed sanctions which have seen it working with a constrained budget and depleted resources, while its members live in difficult times.
Commander AFZ Air Marshal Elson Moyo made the disclosures last week while officiating during a handover and takeover of Manyame Air Base command between Air commodores Alphius Gwata and Elisha Masakadza.
Air Marshal Moyo, who was the chief witness, said it was time the AFZ stopped whining about resources in the delivery of duty.
“The general economic outlook in the country has not changed much,” he said.
“We shall continue to operate in a constrained environment because of a shoe-string budget and the effects of economic sanctions.
“However, we are not going to waste time mourning. Instead, we will continue with the spirit of resilience, hard work, innovation, resourcefulness and strict optimal utilisation of the resources at our disposal. This approach has enabled us to rise above our challenges in the past and successfully meet our constitutional obligations.”
Air Marshal Moyo said failure to meet set targets and implementation of directives was a serious affront to the AFZ vision and the thrust of the new dispensation and challenged members of the force to discharge their duties diligently.
He said as per military tradition, the AFZ will not condone indiscipline within its rank and file and said offenders will face the wrath of military law.
“Fostering unity of purpose depends on a disciplined force as is the cornerstone of every military organisation,” said Air Marshal Moyo.
“I implore commanders to mete out proportionate punishment on all offenders to ensure that high levels of discipline are maintained.
“Swift and decisive action should be taken against all offenders, especially on cases of theft and illegal mining activities. Those who engage in theft should not expect any mercy, but retribution from the heavy hand of the law.”
Accepting command of the base, Air Commodore Masakadza pledged to work for the success of the base and the nation at large.
“I shall abide by the provisions of the Defence Act (Chapter 11:02) and its attendant of regulations as delegated to me,” said Air Commodore Masakadza.
Air Commodore Masakadza was previously Commander Josiah Tongogara (formerly Thornhill) Air Force Base in Gweru.
Handing over command, Air Commodore Gwata extended his greatest appreciation for the AFZ in according him an opportunity to lead Manyame airbase.
“Let me extend my greatest appreciation to the commander AFZ and his esteemed executive team who trusted and accorded me the opportunity to experience a chapter of my military career as commander of this base,” he said.
Air Commodore Gwata has been reassigned to AFZ headquarters as the director for general training.