By Prince Ndoyi, MMD Youth
There is always a temptation for politicians to jump on the hot things in the country. But some things can be ignored and left for social media as neither do they add value no increase our support base in essence.
The statements we have seen are, to say the least petty and that type of politics should have been left for Chishimba Kambwili who has nothing to lose. UPND which is an opposition party with the highest chance of forming government cannot be trotting on social media jokes. We have recently enjoyed how they are giving alternatives and offering new style of checks and balances on many issues today but this issue they should have let it slide.
This is something UPND can ignore and should have ignored, its not necessary at all. We all know that a President whose Commander-in-Chief of defence forces will from time to time officiate at military drills. That was a pure military drill and had everything to do with the military that’s all.
I agree with some who say, this is how Zambians in general lose focus, today we are talking energy, loadshedding, budget, Bill 10 and now this issue which has no potential to reduce load shedding nor increase water levels in Kariba dam.
And by the way, we have an army in Zambia and why are we surprised with a drill. Unless if we never had an army, so military activities should not in any way be of surprise and attract such unnecessary frenzy at the expense of serious matters. We spend collosal sums of tax payers money on our men and women in uniform to protect us from any form of foriegn aggression now and in the future, so let’s grow up. And sometimes, we send our well trained men and women to hostile and troubled regions for peace keeping missions as we can not be at peace if our brothers and sisters have no peace. SO IF A SNAKE IS A SURVIVAL DELICACY FOR OUR MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM, WHY THE FUSS?
So when a President attends those it is up to his discretion to partake in whatever activities. As a matter of importance, these statements have the potential to INFURIATE or ANNOY the men and women in uniform who sometimes serve under difficult circumstances. A politician worth his sort, would simply avoid it. The cost outweighs the benefits, because whether we like it or not these men and women in uniform VOTE.
Armed forces personnel, total in Zambia was reported at 16500 in 2015, according to the World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially recognized sources. So this is 2019, how many numbers are they, if they went in a voting booth?
The only time we heard Michael SATA in opposition talk MILITARY and POLICE politics was when he addressed issues to do with thier conditions of service, because he understood that anything else was costly if at all he was to be President.
So President LUNGU whose President of Zambia derives power from the Constitution of Zambia Chapter 1, and among these Presidential powers, is the COMMANDER IN CHIEF hence his duties stretch as far as overseeing military drills. Anyone wishing be President must acquaint themselves with these powers. These powers confer upon the presidency various functions as stipulated in the Defence ACT such functions as should be utilised in the interest of national development and security.
In ending, let me say Article 33 (1) of the Constitution, provides for a President of the Republic who shall be the Head of State and of the Government and the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Force. Article 44 further states that the President as the Head of State, shall perform with dignity and leadership all acts necessary or expedient for, or reasonably incidental to, the discharge of the executive functions of Government subject to the overriding terms of the Constitution and the Laws of Zambia which he is constitutionally obliged to protect, administer and execute. The President in this regard is obliged to freely interact with defence forces as a mark of solidarity on what they go through in the course of thier professional discharge of their duties.
And for me, ALL army personnel must be deeply elated to see thier civilian leader exhibit that level of moral support towards what the men and women in uniform go through during troubled times.