Analysis: PAUL MIHOVA
I WISH to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank the Government for its commitment to modernise the Zambian defence force.
In the case of Zambia Air Force (ZAF), this has partly been achieved through acquiring new air assets and infrastructure development.
This support from the Government has enabled ZAF to effectively protect Zambia’s airspace and territorial integrity through the projection of air power.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the corporate world for the assistance they rendered in 2017.
I wish to congratulate you for a fairly successful 2017. This, of course, has been achieved amidst challenges, but I am happy to note that you rose above all challenges faced and successfully carried out the tasks assigned to you by command.
I commend you all for your exemplary service, professionalism and devotion to duty.
This work culture is cardinal in enhancing operational efficiency and the attainment of a state of combat readiness in line with the ZAF Vision 2020.
I proudly note your invaluable contribution in fostering peace, unity and prosperity and in safeguarding Zambia’s territorial integrity.
I further applaud you for your loyalty and urge you to continue supporting command so that ZAF continues to execute its constitutional mandate.
As part of your national responsibility, ZAF has been able to avail affordable air transport to the Government and the general public.
Additionally, ZAF has continued to partner with other government agencies and quasi-government institutions.
For instance, you have been partnering with organisations such as the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) under the Vice-President’s office to distribute relief supplies in times of disaster and have also been supporting the Flying Doctor Services (FDS) during their outreach programmes around the country.
In this regard, I wish to take this opportunity to thank all ZAF personnel for being part of this effort.
The defence and security of this country cannot be conducted in isolation of any single security institution. The Government, and indeed the people of Zambia, expect us to provide total defence by protecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of this country, be it land, air or water. You are, therefore, expected to work hand in hand with other defence and security forces in the country to provide the required peace and security.
I call upon each one of you to double your efforts and contribute effectively and professionally not only to ZAF but also to the nation as a whole. Above all, as people in uniform, we are expected to remain non-partisan and loyal to the government of the day, the commander-in-chief and the people of Zambia, and uphold the constitution of the land. At family level, I urge you to take good care of your families.
Desist at all times from getting involved in gender-based violence or indeed any other unbecoming behaviour that has the potential to disrupt harmony in your homes.
Equally important is that you should ensure you and your families regularly go for medical check-ups so that you keep your health in constant check, especially in view of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, among others.
The author is Zambia Army Commander.