POMP and fanfare coloured the commissioning of 128 officer cadets who graduated from the Monduli-based Tanzania Military Academy (TMA) during an event graced by President John Magufuli who is also the Commanderin- Chief of the armed forces.
Officer Cadet is a rank held by military cadets during their training to become commissioned officers.
The Commander-In-Chief commissioned 67/19 group officers in Dar es Salaam yesterday through powers vested onto him through Article 148 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Tanzania and Section 29 (5) of the National Security and Defence Act.
“I hereby commission you to become Second Lieutenants starting today February 8, 2020,” Dr Magufuli proclaimed at the ceremony, after which the officers took an oath to defend the country and its constitution.
Ululations filled the air mainly from parents and relatives who had travelled from far and wide to see their children graduate from the military academy.
The officer cadets then paired themselves in a sheer display of military allure, each one, using their gloved hands, removing the mock pips from the colleague and replacing them with the real single gold bath star pips that are given to Second Lieutenants.
All officers were Tanzani ans, 108 male and 20 female according to Commandant of TMA, Brig Gen Ibrahim Muhona who informed the Head of State and the audience at the ceremony.
“The training of group 67/19 commenced on January 28, 2019, with 126 trainees in which 101 were male and 25 female, 26 of them dropped due to various reasons including illness, poor performance while others quit voluntarily,” Brig Gen Muhona explained.
Apart from commissioning the former trainees who now become army officers with a rank of Second Lieutenant, President Magufuli presented awards to best trainees who had excelled in various disciplines during their cadet military training.
The best overall cadet trainee was Frank Wambura, while the best trainee in academic performance was Said Said, the award for best field officer cadet went to Yohana Matiku, a best overall trainee from school of Aviation was Kelvin Raphael, best flying trainee was awarded to Emmanuel Petro and Anatoria Ndagile was the best female trainee.
President Magufuli arrived at the parade grounds on the Eastern side of the State House overlooking the Indian Ocean at exactly 10:00 am from where he proceeded to the podium after which the National Anthem was played by the army brass band.
After the National Anthem, Dr Magufuli inspected the guard of honour. The colourful ceremony comprised of a military parade by the graduating officer cadets who formed six guards while the other two guards were made up of escort military officers.
Among the officer cadets who were commissioned yesterday, 28 trainees received their training at various military academies of China, United Kingdom, Germany, India, Kenya and Morocco who later joined their counterparts at the Monduli-based college.
The military college was established in 1969 at Kurasini when it was then known as Officer Cadets’ College before it was later shifted to Monduli in 1976 and renamed Leadership Training College.
At that time, it used to train both officer cadets and public leaders. Before the establishment of the college in 1969, Tanzania used to train its officer cadets in friendly countries such as Russia, the United Kingdom, Israel, Pakistan and India.
Following the re-introduction of multi-party democracy in 1992, the then Leadership Training College was transformed into Tanzania Military Academy, and re-introduced training of officer cadets only and public leaders were no longer its trainees.
Since then, it has risen to become one of the colleges of excellence for cadet military training not only in the East African region but across the continent.