MASERU – A delegation of 25 senior military officers from the Zimbabwe Staff College (ZSC) has commenced a one-week study tour in Lesotho, which commenced on July 4 and will end on July 10. They were welcomed at the ’Manthabiseng Convention Centre in Maseru on Monday. This visiting team consists of eight directing staff members and seventeen student officers, made up of students from Malawi and Tanzanian Defence Forces, and also a student from the Zimbabwe Republic Police.
According to the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) Public Affairs Office the purpose of this study tour is to enable participating students to know more about strategic operations, geopolitics, social, cultural, economic and the military infrastructure as well as the civil military relations in Lesotho as the hosting country. In an interview with the LDF spokesperson, Captain Sakeng Lekola, said the importance of this study tour is that, it will equip students with skills from different categories such as the land and air operations which they will put them into practice after the completion of the course.
Lekola added that they will be able to learn how to use resources such as the airplanes jointly, while communication will be reinforced as well. Lekola added that the Lesotho military has harmonious relations with Zimbabwe, revealing also that the LDF Commander, Lieutenant General Mojalefa Letsoela, is a graduate of the Zimbabwe Staff College. During their study tour in Lesotho, the Zimbabwe Staff College have so far visited places such as Thaba-Bosiu to allow them to understand the Basotho culture and historical background.
“On behalf of the Lesotho Defence Force, I would like to thank your college for conducting a study tour to in Lesotho on the authority of the Zimbabwean Defence Force. “It is such an honour for us to be chosen again since 2018. It is my belief that this study tour will go a long way to strengthen the bonds of relations between our defence forces. We are indeed humbled by faith and trust you have in us,” said the LDF Chief of Staff Human Resources, Administration and Policy Management, Major General Poqa Motoa when welcoming student officers.
For the visiting soldiers, Lieutenant Colonel Njabulo Moyo expressed heartfelt gratitude for the warm welcome shown by LDF. Team leader, Colonel Chakaipa Maguna echoed the same sentiments with the course coordinator on the warm welcome by the LDF. The ZSC was established on April 18, 1980, as the successor to the Rhodesian Directorate of Military studies to provide command and staff training for officers of the Zimbabwe National Army. It started running in November 1980 and 6 consecutive junior staff courses (JSC) of six weeks were run.
In 1984, the ZSC expanded into two divisions namely, the junior division and the intermediate division. The main feature of this organization was that the JSC and the intermediate staff course (ISC) were running concurrently. Each of these courses had a capacity of 30 student officers. After extensive studies on staff requirements, the ISC gave way to the command and staff course (CSC) in 1986, which was officially opened by the late Zimbabwean president Robert Gabriel Mugabe.
Moreover, in 1996 the ZSC was transformed from being a ZNA training establishment to a ZDF training establishment. This development was a result of the introduced unified command structure in the ZDF. Finally, the college is now going through a metamorphosis of adopting a joint training outlook. The college started running a joint command and staff course (JCSC) in January 1996 and to date, thirty-one JSSC’s have been run with the 32 currently running, two JSC and one JCSC are run per year.