PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan yesterday swore in the new Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) General Jacob Mkunda, expressing optimism that he will continue the outstanding service of his predecessor, General (rtd) Venance Mabeyo.
The Commander-In-Chief of the armed forces also administered oath to the newly-appointed TPDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General, Salum Haji Othman.
General Mkunda and Lieutenant General Othman were appointed on Wednesday to replace the former CDF, Gen (Ret) Mabeyo and Let Gen Mathew Mkingule -the former TPDF Chief of Staff, who has been appointed ambassador.
Before his appointment, General Mkunda was the Chief of Operations and Training at the TPDF headquarters, while Lt Gen Othman was the Commissioner for Research and Military Development in the ministry of Defence and National Service.
Speaking shortly after swearing in, President Samia commended Gen (rtd) Mabeyo for successfully completing his service in the force and the contribution he had made to the country.
However, she said despite going into retirement in the force, the government shall continue to use him.
“Gen Mabeyo has done a great job during his service to the TPDF and the country at large, he has served the force for over 40 years, and still he’s looking smart and energetic,” she noted.
“He is going into retirement while still energetic, he will be appointed to serve the government in other responsibilities, anytime soon, probably this evening, the Chief Secretary will make an announcement,” President Samia added.
In her brief speech, the Head of State said in the army, successors customarily pick up from where their predecessors ended.
Earlier, the Minister for Defence and National Service Dr Stergomena Tax thanked President Samia for appointing new leaders of the TPDF, expressing her optimism that they will deliver accordingly.
She assured the outgoing CDF that the ministry and TPDF will maintain and uphold all the programmes that he initiated during his tenure at the helm of the force.
“You have done a lot not only for the TPDF but for the country at large, we shall carry on all the programmes and projects that you introduced,” she stated.
Earlier last month, the Zanzibar President Dr Hussein Mwinyi hailed the outgoing CDF for wise and exemplary leadership.
He made the remarks when the former CDF arrived at the Mnazi Mmoja based State House to say goodbye to him, following the end of his service in the Armed Forces, after serving the highest post at the army for five years.
Dr Mwinyi congratulated Mabeyo for good performance throughout his term as CDF as well as serving the TPDF with highest degree of integrity, including ensuring that various challenges in the army are resolved.
During their talks, President Mwinyi described Mr Mabeyo as a leader who is doing his best in the army including strengthening good relations with his subordinates and his fellow leaders.
President Mwinyi also revealed his working relation with Gen (rtd) Mabeyo, during his time as Minister for Defence and National Service, saying it was exceptionally good, a situation that enabled them to work closely together.
For his part, Gen Mabeyo expressed gratitude to President Mwinyi for successfully executing his leadership responsibilities from his time as Minister of Defence to the present as President of Zanzibar and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council.
The TPDF former chief described Dr Mwinyi as a leader who has worked with him for a long time and helped him in effectively carrying out his duties within the Armed Forces.
“I wish you good health and longevity, Mr President and your family... I greatly appreciate the cooperation you have given me during your tenure from your time as minister to this day. Thank you very much,” he said.