Get busy, Sata orders army

President Michael Sata

PRESIDENT Sata yesterday commissioned 138 army officers at Kohima Barracks in Kabwe and urged Zambia Army commander Paul Mihova to keep his troops busy.
The Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces said at Kohima Barracks yesterday, when he commissioned the officer cadets, that it is important to keep the officers occupied.
Mr Sata also urged Lt Gen Mihova to acquire land for agricultural purposes so that new army personnel can grow food.
Mr Sata, who was commissioning new officers at Kohima Barracks for the second time, said the officers should not fall prey to temptation.
“We would like to maintain and leave Zambia better than we found it. Please take care of yourselves,” Mr Sata said.
The President, clad in military fatigue, said he was happy that out of the new 138 officers, 35 are women.
He said the nation expects total loyalty and commitment from the new army officers.
“In this career, you should put the interests of the country first and execute your duties with maximum discipline, professionalism and accountability.
“You are expected to remain loyal to the government of the day and you are not required to get involved in active politics,” Mr Sata said.
The President said Government will continue to put in place incentives to ensure that members of the defence forces are motivated.
Government will also encourage regular recruitment of defence force personnel to maintain and sustain human resource in the army.
Mr Sata commended the Zambia Army for its role in maintaining peace and stability in Zambia, making the country a role model in Africa.
Meanwhile, scores of people who thronged Kohima Barracks for the event were excited to see Mr Sata in military attire.
As the head of State was inspecting the parade, on-lookers cheered, clapped and ululated. He acknowledged the show of affection by waving at the crowd.
After the inspection, Mr Sata walked over to greet five-year-old Chisenga Chama of Kabwe as his mother watched.
“I have to commission this one [Chisenga],” President Sata joked as he extended his hand.
Earlier, the President greeted other boys who were in the company of their parents.
And Lt Gen Mihova said the Zambia Army has successfully managed to establish a marine unit in Luapula Province.
Lt Gen Mihova said the role of the 48 marine units would be to safeguard Zambia’s water bodies against external threats, as directed by Government.
“Training for marine troops has commenced and equipment is being procured by the Ministry of Defence,” Lt Gen Mihova said.