By Victor Maphosa
Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga has urged members of the force assigned to international peacekeeping missions to promote the image of the country.
In a speech read on his behalf by Deputy Commissioner-General (human resources) Mind Ngirandi at the briefing of 15 officers posted to Darfur on a United Nations peacekeeping mission, Comm-Gen Matanga said the good image of Zimbabwe which was earned over the years in the same operations should be maintained.
“I would like to implore you to shun all forms of behaviour that might dent the good image that the organisation and country earned over the years,” he said.
“It is also my belief that you are going to wear the blue beret with pride determined to leave an indelible mark on the peacekeeping landscape.
“As you leave the country, you are joining a unique group of compatriots who have accepted to abide by the requirements of incomparable discipline, nationalism and extraordinary commitment in raising the Zimbabwean flag high outside our borders.
“It is imperative to bear in mind that being chosen to perform peacekeeping duties is not a right, but a privilege and a clarion call to defend the positive image the country enjoys in the global peacekeeping arena.”
Comm-Gen Matanga urged the officers to maintain the good standards and secure stability in their missions.
He urged the officers to be good ambassadors of Zimbabwe, articulate good stories about Zimbabwe particularly after the recent disturbances which rocked the nation and bad publicity which was carried out by unruly elements.
“What is worrisome is the timing of the shutdown which took place when His Excellency, Cde E.D Mnangagwa was on a tour to lure investors and for re-engagement,” he said.
“The timing of the shutdown and peddling of the negative publicity about the country is no doubt an apparent manifestation of a futile and retrogressive attempt to frustrate the President’s nation building and re-engagement efforts.
“It is, therefore, my hope and trust that you are going to be good ambassadors for our country and articulate the correct story of the situation in Zimbabwe.”
In her remarks, leader of the Darfur contingent Chief Superintendent Tsitsidzashe Paradzayi said they will not disappoint or break the trust bestowed upon them by the nation.
Of the 15 officers, seven are female.