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ZAF prodded to go into agriculture

CHRISTINE CHISHA, Lusaka
MINISTER of Defence Davies Chama has urged the Zambia Air Force (ZAF) to engage in one agro-based activity to contribute to the growth of the economy.
Mr Chama said there is need for the Air Force to embrace innovation and entrepreneurship; not to participate in politics but in the growing of the economy.
“You should engage in at least one agro-based activity, be it a smallholder level for fish farming, poultry, vegetable or any food production venture,” he said.
Mr Chama said the country is gifted with adequate land and water resources and that he will support armed forces by lobbying for easier access to land.
He was speaking on Friday night during ZAF’s annual ball.
Mr Chama said Government remains committed to modernising the defence forces as they play the critical role of protecting the country’s growing investments.
He has also urged ZAF personnel to remain neutral, professional and loyal to the people of Zambia and government of the day.
“I urge you to uphold the values of this noble profession and conduct yourselves in a manner befitting officers in all aspects of your life,” he said.
Mr Chama commended Zambia’s armed forces for their timely contribution towards the protection of wildlife in the country.
He said his ministry is committed to helping the men and women in uniform acquire equipment such as unmanned aerial vehicles with capabilities to detect illegal wildlife trafficking.
Speaking earlier, ZAF commander Eric Chimese said the defence wing welcomes government decision to re-equip it with basic trainer aircraft, advanced fighter trainers, medium lift helicopters and surveillance equipment.
Lieutenant General Chimese said ZAF this year trained eight pilots led by a female candidate.
He said the force has also embarked on a programme to pursue smart project and programme financing options to complement government funding.
Lt Gen Chimese urged the Air Force to work hard and pursue transformational leadership.
“I am urging all personnel in ZAF to be patient with Government concerning the outstanding issues to do with conditions of service,” he said.
Lt Gen Chimese said after harmonisation, consolidation and rationalism of conditions of service in 2013 and all issues that were observed were receiving attention.




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