"Saying Zimbabwe is in turmoil is interference" – Chiwenga

HARARE – The labeling of Zimbabwe as a country in turmoil perpetrated by the United States and its allies are blatant acts of interference in the internal affairs of the country, Defence Forces Commander General Constantine Chiwenga has said.

Gen Chiwenga said Zimbabwe was a sovereign state that was very peaceful and warned against interference in the country’s internal affairs.

Officially closing the 15th annual meeting of the Standing Maritime Committee of the Inter-State Defense and Security Committee (ISDSC) that was attended by SADC Navy chiefs and army chiefs in Victoria Falls on Monday, Gen Chiwenga urged delegates to go and tell the world how peaceful and safe the country was, according to Wednesday’s The Chronicle.

"I believe your stay in Zimbabwe has given you the opportunity to witness for yourselves the hospitality of this great country. When you go back home I believe you will share your experience with your families, colleagues and those that you get in contact with that Zimbabwe is a safe country and destination for all to appreciate," he said.

Turning to the meeting, Chiwenga said co-operation between coastal and landlocked states was vital in security and development.

He said he hoped that the rights and responsibilities of coastal and landlocked states in facilitating the operation of the search and rescue co-operation plan and developing a standing maritime committee reflects the much sought after commitment by member states to practically see to it that the objectives of co-operation plans were achieved.

The meeting also saw the Mozambican Navy Rear Admiral Patricio Yotamo, assuming the chairmanship of the standing maritime committee taking over from Chief of the Angolan Navy Admiral Augusto Da Silva Cunha.

In his farewell speech, Adm Cunha said the region was saddened by the rise of piracy especially in the Indian Ocean states.

He said maritime security was being compromised by this social and economic ill. "The committee looked deeply into such issues and measures will be put in place to deal with it," he said.