Oswell Moyo, Chronicle Reporter
THE Zimbabwe National Army has appointed a new commanding officer to lead 1:1 Combat Group at a colourful ceremony held at Induna Barracks.
Lieutenant Colonel Oscar Tshuma, who was 1.3 Reserve Force Battalion commanding officer, took over from Lt Colonel Mpulaeng Siziba.
Lt Col Siziba was promoted in December last year to be the new Deputy Commander of 1 Infantry Brigade.
In his farewell speech Lt Col Siziba applauded members of his unit for showing dedication and loyalty throughout his tenure.
“It’s a privilege to stand before you today as I hand over command of 1:1 Combat Group to the incoming commanding officer Lt Col Tshuma. This body of officers, men and women that stand before you this morning always showed loyalty and dedication to duty in all the tasks that the unit was assigned by the brigade headquarters,” he said.
He urged the community to continue suppporting the army.
“My plea to members of this unit is, they should solidly support the incoming commanding officer Lt Col Tshuma in the same manner that they did to me when I was the commanding officer of this unit. He has the capability to take this unit to greater heights,” said Lt Col Siziba.
Matabeleland North Minister for Provincial Affairs, Cde Cain Mathema, said the government will continue supporting the defence forces whenever there is a need.
“I’d like to congratulate Lt Col Tshuma following his new appointment. This is a gift to the people of Matabeleland. We’ll continue giving the army the necessary support,” he said.
The incoming officer Lt Col Tshuma paid tribute to the Zimbabwe National Army for entrusting him to lead the unit.
“I feel honoured and at the same time elated by this appointment as it’s a demonstration of the trust and confidence that the commander Zimbabwe National Army has in me. 1.1 Combat Group has over the years proved to be a well disciplined and effective battalion as reflected by its successes during operations,” he said.
“I promise that I’ll do my level best in my duties as commanding officer and live up to your expectations. Let me assure you that in the conduct of my duties I’ll also do my best to maintain the standards that 1:1 Combat Group attained. I will endeavour to maintain a battalion that’s well disciplined as was done by my predecessor.”
Lt Col Tshuma was born in 1960 and attended Empandeni Primary and Secondary schools. He joined the liberation struggle in 1977 in Zambia. After independence in 1980, Lt Col Tshuma was attested into the Zimbabwe National Army.
He held various positions.
Yesterday’s ceremony was attended by senior army officers, Matabeleland North Provincial Administrator, Latiso Dlamini, Chief Sigola and locals.