State House has confirmed that President Edgar Lungu collapsed Sunday afternoon during the commemoration of Defence Forces Day.
In a statement, Secretary to Cabinet and Principal Private Secretary Dr. Simon Miti said President Lungu experienced a sudden dizziness but recovered immediately.
Dr Miti said that the Head of State then walked to his car and returned to State House.
Dr. Miti said the President wishes to assure the general public and all concerned citizens including the international community, that he is well and has continued to discharge his duties.
The four-hour ceremony took place at the Freedom Statute on Independence Avenue where the Defence Forces show-cased their military ware.
President Lungu also used the Commemoration to conduct an Investiture Ceremony to honour gallant men and women in Uniform.
Meanwhile, Zambia has today commemorated its 45th defence force day with a display of assorted land military hardware and a fly passed over the Freedom Statue area along Independence Avenue in Lusaka.
President Edgar Lungu has urged the defence force to remain politically neutral and to stay loyal to the constitution and the people of Zambia.
Speaking during the commemoration of the 45th defence force day at the Freedom Statue in Lusaka today, President Lungu said Zambia has the most dedicated defence force whose performance is above board.
“Your exemplary conduct to national duty cannot go unnoticed, as your Commander in Chief, I am proud of you. I urge you to continue being patriotic and loyal to the constitution, the government of the day and the people of Zambia,” the President said.
President Lungu also stated that government will continue supporting the defence force in acquiring modern equipment.
He has called for collaboration with other nations to ensure continued modernisation of the country’s defence force.
The Head of state has also applauded the women and men in uniform for supporting government programmes.
“Going forward, my government will continue to support the defence forces’ long term infrastructure and human resource development programmes,” he pledged.
President Lungu also commended defence forces for their positive response to government’s policy directive for the military to engage in agricultural activities.
Speaking at the same event, Ministry of Defence Permanent Secretary Felix Phiri
emphasised that the defence forces were key in maintaining the country’s peace and security.
Mr. Phiri has meanwhile assured the Head of State that the Ministry of Defence would perform its mandate professionally.
“The Ministry of Defence is at the center of maintaining the country’s peace and security, we want to pledge our total loyalty in achieving this cause,” Mr. Phiri said.
The Permanent secretary also used the occasion to commended service personnel for their loyalty and dedication to duty.
Meanwhile, Zambia Army Commander William Sikazwe thanked government for equipping the defence force with modern equipment and skills to ensure a professional contemporary and versatile military.
Lieutenant General Sikazwe urged Zambians not to forget the sacrifices that were made in the struggle for freedom and said peace should never be taken for granted.
“We should never forget the cost and sacrifices made by the defence force to the freedom that we enjoy today,” he said.
The Zambia Army Commander further reaffirmed that the defence force will remain committed to maintaining national peace and unity and to keep the good reputation of the Zambian military on the continent.
Every year on the 13th of June, Defence Force Day is commemorated to celebrate service personnel who are bestowed with the duty to defend the country.
This year’s defence force day carried the theme ‘Preservation of national peace and security through patriotism and loyalty’.
During the commemoration, the Zambia Army, Zambia Air Force (ZAF) and the Zambia National Service showcased various military equipment, which were driven passed the Freedom Statue along Independence Avenue while fighter jets, military planes and helicopters flew passed.