Refurbishment of old institutional and residential accommodation as well as repairing of ablution facilities is key for the organisation's development, the Chief of Staff Quartermaster Staff Major General Hlanganani Dube has said.
Major General Dube said this when he made a follow-up visit to 33 Reserve Force Battalion in Chipinge and 31 Combat Group in Mutare from 31 January to 01 February 2023.
The visit was meant to assess the progress made in the construction of barracks for Non-Commissioned Members and Commissioned Officers. The Chief of Staff Quartermaster Staff also wanted to check progress made in repairing of sewer systems within the two units.
"Provision of decent accommodation for troops is one of the organisation’s top priorities. The welfare of soldiers is a subject of discussion and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces is making strides in its effort to provide standard barracks for its members,” said Major General Dube.
The project comes at a time when the Government of Zimbabwe is committed to improving the welfare of members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces to make them at par with their counterparts in the region. The project was commissioned on 24 October 2022 with Turnall Holdings, a renowned constructor being given the contract to reconstruct the barracks with the assistance of ZNA Engineers. Chipinge based 33 Reserve Force Battalion and 31 Combat Group Battalion were earmarked for refurbishment to ensure safe accommodation for troops something that is currently taking shape.
In October 2021, the Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri made an initial visit to 33 Reserve Force Battalion and 31 Combat Group Battalion to inspect the state of accommodation for troops. She highlighted that there was need to expedite the construction of barracks at the two units. Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri was accompanied by the Commander Defence Forces, General Philip Valerio Sibanda and Staff Officers from the ZDF delegates.
Construction works have since commenced at the two units and are at an advanced stage. “This project is not meant for these two units alone but it's an on-going process within the whole of the Zimbabwe National Army to ensure that soldiers both in deployment and those in camp enjoy safe working and living conditions,” said Major General Dube.
Speaking on the sidelines of the visit, Commander 3 Infantry Brigade, Brigadier General George Chitsva said the project would go a long way in alleviating the accommodation plight of the troops. “The project is in line with the ZDF's thrust of improving the working conditions of troops.”