THE Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President John Magufuli, yesterday commissioned 197 officer cadets to the rank of second lieutenant at State House in Dar es Salaam.
This is the fourth commissioning since the President took office and the third to be conducted at the State House as the first occurred at the customary venue – the Tanzania Military Academy (TMA) – in Monduli District, Arusha Region.
Again, the commissioning ceremony is the 62nd since the inception of the Academy in 1969. The President arrived at the colourful grounds around 10 am dressed in a dark blue suit. At around 10:15am, he inspected a guard of honour and took his seat at 10:20, before getting up again five minutes later to carry out the commissioning of the officers.
The Commander-in-Chief also presented special awards to outstanding trainees on five different categories. The prizes went to Second Lt Michael Igoti (overall prize), Obadiah Mwang’ondo (academic performance), Benson Kwembe (drill field), Mkundani Beka (best female trainee) and the best male performer went to Flavia Baraza. According to the TMA Principal, Maj Gen Paul Masao those commissioned includes 169 males, 28 females and nine others from foreign countries.
He pointed out that the course began last year on January 23 with a total of 221 trainees of which others dropped out due to a numbers of reasons. “The officers who are being commissioned here today have academic qualification including master’s degrees (8), bachelor’s degrees (144), advanced diploma (4), certificate (1) and 32 Form Six leavers. Some of our officers have also been trained in countries such as Burundi (5), Rwanda (5), Kenya (5), Swaziland (3) and two from Seychelles.
He further pointed out that the group being commissioned today (yesterday) also comprises soldiers from neighbouring countries under an exchange programme from Burundi (4), Kenya (3) and one from China and United Kingdom (UK).
The event was also attended by Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan, Chief Secretary (CS) John Kijazi, Minister of Defence and National Service, Dr Hussein Mwinyi and Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), General Venance Mabeyo, among others.