President Jakaya Kikwete has expressed satisfaction over the proximity between the newly built army Command and Staff College and the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology saying it is high time defence forces marry High Tech with military training.
The Commander-In-Chief of the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces was speaking during the occasion to inaugurate the Command and Staff College (CSC) premises that have been newly built at the shores of Lake Duluti in Tengeru area of Meru District here.
The new military facility which will now accommodate the Command and Staff College, is located close to the Nelson Mandela Institute, and according to President Kikwete, the army training college should work closely with NM-AIST in order to reinforce the country’s mission to create a modern army equipped with advanced technology and which serves scientifically.
“This CSC has always been my dream to accomplish before my term is over and the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) has done me proud, this is the best retirement gift that they have given me so far,” stated the Head of State who also lauded the management for internal sourcing of materials that have helped to keep construction costs low as well as speeding up the works.
Minister for Defence, Dr Hussein Mwinyi said the construction will be executed in two phases, the first already accomplished and the second may be accomplished in the fifth phase government.
The Head of CSC, Ezekiel Kyunga, said while the project was estimated to cost 8.2 billion/ the actual works have so far consumed just 6.1 billion/- indicating a massive cost saving of nearly 1 billion/- margin.
The Command and Staff College was established in the wake of Uganda War in July 1979 and operated at Fort Ikoma in Serengeti for ten years before shifting base to Monduli where it was imbedded within the Tanzania Military Academy (TMA) However, the TMA base was to prove constrained and the need to have a specially constructed, own premises to host the CSC in Tengeru area of Arumeru District.
In the past 36 years, the Commander’s Staff College has so far trained 889 army officers from across the continent including, 674 from Tanzania (TPDF), Kenya (41), Zimbabwe (39), Zambia (37), Uganda (26), Namibia (17), Malawi (15), Rwanda (11), Burundi (8), South-Africa (9), Botswana (7) and Swaziland (1).