Lungu orders removal of squatters

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President Sata, David Phiri, Edgar Lungu

MINISTER of Defence Edgar Lungu has directed law enforcement agencies to remove squatters who have encroached on Lukanga Battle Training Camp land in Kapiri Mposhi because civilians are exposed to danger whenever defence forces are training.

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Mr Lungu said during a pass-out parade of Zambia Army officers in Kapiri Mposhi yesterday that encroachment on training camps by civilians exposes them to danger because they can pick up displaced explosives like grenades.
Mr Lungu said it is not the policy of the Patriotic Front (PF) government to do illegalities and to tolerate it regardless of who is involved.
“I have been petitioned as Minister of Defence to look at the abuses of military uniforms by people who are masquerading as party officials or cadres. Let me assure you that I have involved the Ministry of Home Affairs in this issue because currently there is a law that prohibits the use of defence uniforms except for the purpose of theatre as accepted by law,” Mr Lungu said.
He is concerned that many people are seen on the streets wearing Zambia Army, ZNS and police uniforms.
“We are assured by the Ministry of Home Affairs that this will soon be brought to an end.  We want the integrity of our men and women in uniform to be protected. We shall not allow a situation where people wear defence uniforms as they like,” Mr Lungu said.
He warned that if the Ministry of Home Affairs and Zambia Police do not help, soldiers will confiscate the uniforms.
The minister commended the Zambia Army officers for completing the rigorous yet distinguished training.
“The nation is dependent upon your vital skills and knowledge in conducting operations of high tact and skill. I want to express my confidence that judging by the military drills you have displayed and training you undertook, you will effectively undertake many assignments given to you,” Mr Lungu said.
The minister urged the officers to practise what they learnt during the training.
Mr Lungu said Government is committed to ensuring that the army has necessary equipment to enable it to effectively carry out assignments.
“Today’s parade signifies that you have a new identity donned by the distinct colour of beret contrasting from other services and corps in the army.  You are regarded special, not because of your inherent abilities but because of the skills and knowledge that have been imparted in you during the last ten months of your training,” Mr Lungu observed.
He urged the officers not to use the newly-acquired skills to harm innocent human beings but to protect and preserve lives.
And Zambia Army Commander Lieutenant General Paul Mihova said the training was conducted in three phases in Ndola, Luanshya and Kapiri Mposhi.
General Mihova said the course duration was 10 months from June 2013 and that the trainees consist of volunteers from 2012 graduates and the internal recruitment conducted within the army.

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