Celebrating New Year in uniform

MEN and women in uniform and invited guests jiving into 2018 during the crossover night at Arakan Barracks on New Year’s eve in Lusaka. PICTURE: MACKSON WASAMUNU

THE men and women in uniform last Sunday welcomed 2018 in style at the Zambia Army annual ball which was characterised by song, dance and a colourful display of fireworks.

Every year, the army commander hosts his officers for a merry time even as they look back at the past year and focus on the new one.
This year’s event themed: ‘Celebrating peace, tranquillity and moving towards a prosperous and smart Zambia without leaving anyone behind’ was held at the Arakan Barracks where the army commander General Paul Mihova hosted the officers.
The guests, neatly robed together with their spouses, started arriving after 19:00 hours.
All of them were presented with bottles of wine before being treated to a beautiful dinner.
As the guests dined, the army orchestral choir sang some therapeutic tunes.
Around 21:00 hours, Minister of Defence Davies Chama, who the guest of honour, opened the dance floor as guests jived along.
Minister in the office of the Vice-President Sylvia Chalikosa and Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection permanent secretary Ed Chomba were among the VIP guests.
After winning, dining and dancing, all the guests were asked to leave the ballroom to welcome 2018 under the peaceful Zambian skies.
At 23:59 hours, the anxious crowd started counting down to 2018 under a five-minute colourful display of fireworks.
“This is the best New Year celebration ever, look at those beautiful colours, this is memorable,” one of the youthful guests was heard exclaiming as he captured the fireworks display on his phone.
Earlier, Gen Mihova said the military is ready to help civil authorities in mitigating disasters such as the cholera outbreak which has claimed 42 lives so far.
He said that the army will continue to complement initiatives aimed at mitigating national disasters.
“As I speak today, the Zambia Army has joined other security wings in fighting cholera in Lusaka,” he said. “We shall always be available to give any assistance. We’re here 24/7.”
Gen Mihova also said the army has continued to safeguard Zambian borders through deployment of troops in Luapula, North-Western, Northern, Central and Lusaka provinces.
He also counselled the officers against engaging in vices such as corruption.
“I urge you not to engage in gender-based violence because it’s unofficer-like,” Mihova said.
The officers will wait for another one in December.

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