Analysis: PAUL MIHOVA
THE Zambia Army has continued to safeguard our borders through deployment of troops in Luapula, North-Western, Western, Northern, Central and Lusaka provinces.
In terms of disaster management and mitigation, the Zambia Army has continued to provide its services in aiding the government.
We stand ready and will continue aiding civil authorities in mitigating national disasters.
Currently, army engineers are engaged in the rebuilding of City Market, which was gutted last year.
Additionally, the army marine unit has also continued to safeguard our water bodies in Luapula and Northern provinces.
We shall also deploy the marine on the Zambezi River in Southern Province. Internationally, we provided troops for the African Union and United Nations peace-keeping operations in conflict areas within Africa.
Zambia Army has military observers and staff officers in South Sudan, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
We also have a battalion, military observers and staff officers in Central African Republic.
Most recently, in November 2017, we deployed a Zambian contingent composed of Zambia Army and other security wings as part of the Southern African Development Community preventive mission to the Kingdom of Lesotho, where there has been political instability. So far, the troops have performed exceptionally well. In order to uphold professionalism, we have continued to train our officers and soldiers both locally and abroad.
Our men and women in uniform have now occupied the newly-constructed Sinomach houses in Lusaka West for easy mobilisation and accountability.
The high demand for suitable accommodation could not have come at a better time than now.
I wish, therefore, to thank and commend His Excellency, the President, and the government for providing accommodation for our personnel.
In line with your Government’s policy of diversifying the economy by engaging in agriculture, we have introduced various initiatives aimed at encouraging self-sustainability.
We have continued to engage in economically viable and productive ventures such as livestock production, crop production and fish farming.
In fact, we have commenced the revamping of army farms in various military cantonments throughout the country. I wish to report that our farms in Kawambwa, Chinsali, Kaoma, Solwezi, Choma and Lusaka have been restocked with cattle.
These exotic breeds of animals have begun reproducing, rapidly showing great expectations of self-sustenance in beef production. In order to enable the various units countrywide to be self-sustained economically, we have also started procuring bakery equipment to generate funds for their smooth running by selling bread to the families and the general public.
The Zambia Army has also engaged Omnia Group of Companies to be supplying farming inputs to army personnel, through loan schemes, and this has encouraged more military personnel to engage themselves in various food production activities, thereby improving their individual food baskets at household level.
I wish to take this opportunity to urge all officers to support these initiatives as they will eventually contribute to the improvement of the country’s food basket.
I urge officers to remain loyal, non-partisan and professional at all times by not engaging in partisan politics.
Remain loyal, professional and uphold the Zambian constitution and support the government of the day.
Additionally, discipline is the cornerstone of the military and, therefore, I urge you to maintain the highest standards of discipline as it is key to your career progression. Fitness is another aspect which is cardinal and the most basic requirement for all military personnel.
Exercise regularly as this will also contribute to the general well-being.
Additionally, maintain high levels of integrity.
Desist from getting involved in corrupt activities. I will not tolerate any officer who engages himself or herself in illicit activities.
There will be no sacred cows towards this fight as it erodes the moral fibre of society.
Do not engage yourselves in gender-based violence as this is unofficer-like!
The author is Zambia Army Commander.