NOMSA NKANA, Nchelenge
PRESIDENT Lungu has launched the first-ever special forces marine unit in the Zambian defence force aimed at protecting the people from internal and external aggression and also curbing illegal border crossing.
And President Lungu has warned residents of Isokwe Island on Lake Mweru against marrying off their children early.
The President also said the deployment of the marine unit in Luapula Province will mark the beginning of securing Zambiaâ€™s water bodies countrywide.
He is confident that with the presence of the special forces, there will also be effective enforcement of the fish ban.
â€œWith the establishment of this unit comes a lot of challenges which my Government will address to improve the well-being of our men and women in uniform,â€ he said.
President Lungu said he is aware that the troops are facing accommodation challenges which Government is already addressing through construction of houses and offices for the newly-established marine barracks in Kawambwa and Nchelenge.
And President Lungu said it is his wish that Government continues with countrywide recruitment for both officers and soldiers to replace human resource that have been lost.
He encouraged all serving military personnel to continue with training programmes in anticipation of deployment in both local and international operations.
The President thanked China for donating some of the boats which form part of the equipment for the new unit.
He urged the military to continue delivering services with the existing infrastructure and equipment as Government continues to mobilise resources.
He also commended traditional leaders for allocating land to the special forces for construction of the marine bases.
Meanwhile, army commander Paul Mihova has said two percent of Zambiaâ€™s surface area is water which remains unmanned.
He said it was by design that the marine unit be located in Luapula Province with squadrons in Nsumbu and Kariba to enhance security in the country.
â€œYour Excellency, you may be aware that the people of this region have experienced a lot of calamities and other incidents in the recent past. With the establishment of this unit, we are now sure of the safety of our citizens,â€ he said.
The army commander said the new unit requires houses, offices and recreational facilities as the present structures are not meant for a military camp.
He said he is aware that the head of state is working hard to find a contractor to start building houses and offices at Kala Marine Barracks.
Lieutenant-General Mihova thanked Government for authorisation and establishment of the 48 Marine Unit in Luapula.
And President Lungu has warned residents of Ikoswe Island on Lake Mweru against marrying off their children early.
He said the children need to be educated so that they can add to the development of the nation.
Mr Lungu also implored the residents to obtain their national registration cards so that they can exercise their right to vote for a candidate who can represent their interests.
NOMSA NKANA, Nchelenge