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Monday, August 15, 2022

Zambia has no intention of establishing or housing any military bases-Defence Minister

Headlines Zambia has no intention of establishing or housing any military bases-Defence Minister

Defence Minister Ambrose Lufuma has said that Zambia has no intention of establishing or housing any military bases on her soil through the USA African Command (AFRICOM).

Mr Lufuma said that contrary to assertions, the office being created is one for Security Cooperation which will be based at the US Embassy in Lusaka.

Mr Lufuma said that the office will work with the Zambian defence force to enhance military to military relations, expand areas of cooperation in-force management and modernisation, as well as military professionalism among other things.

Mr. Lufuma has further clarified that the US-Africa command -AFRICOM being referred to on social media platforms is based in Germany and the Government under the UPND Alliance has not at any given time agreed to move it to Zambia.

In a statement last evening, the Minister warned all perpetrators of such misinformation on social media meant to tarnish Zambia’s existing cordial relationship with neighbouring countries and strategic partners, to desist or face the wrath of the law as such hinges on the security and territorial integrity of the nation.

Mr. Lufuma has also advised Zambian Media to avoid issuing false statements on Defence and Security matters without consulting the Ministry of Defence.

In the recent past, social media has been awash with varying information with respect to the establishment of the United States Security Cooperation office by the government of the United States of America in Zambia.

Below is the full statement from the Minister of Defence

STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE, HON. AMBROSE LWIJI LUFUMA, MP ON THE ALLEGED ESTABLISHMENT OF THE US MILITARY BASE IN ZAMBIA

IT HAS COME TO THE ATTENTION OF THE MINISTRY OF DEFENCE THAT, THERE IS VARYING INFORMATION CIRCULATING ON VARIOUS SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS WITH RESPECT TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE UNITED STATES SECURITY COOPERATION OFFICE BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IN ZAMBIA.

CONTRARY TO THE MISINFORMATION AND DISINFORMATION, THAT THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS IN THE PROCESS OF ESTABLISHING USA BASES IN ZAMBIA THROUGH USA AFRICAN COMMAND (AFRICOM) WHICH IS AIMED AT ENDANGERING LIVES OF ZAMBIANS AND THREATENING OUR NATIONAL SECURITY, I WOULD LIKE TO STATE THAT THE OFFICE BEING CREATED IS AN OFFICE OF SECURITY COOPERATION WHICH WILL BE BASED AT
THE USA EMBASSY IN LUSAKA.

THIS OFFICE WILL WORK HAND IN HAND WITH THE ZAMBIAN DEFENCE FORCES TO ENHANCE MILITARY TO MILITARY RELATIONS, EXPAND AREAS OF COOPERATION IN FORCE MANAGEMENT AND MODENISATION, AS WELL AS MILITARY PROFESSIONALISM, AMONG OTHER THINGS. ZAMBIA LIKE MANY OTHER COUNTRIES WITHIN THE REGION AND BEYOND, HAS HAD MILITARY COOPERATION WITH NOT ONLY THE USA, BUT OTHER COOPERATING PARTNERS ACROSS THE GLOBE.

THE US-AFRICA COMMAND (AFRICOM) BEING REFERRED TO ON SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS IS BASED IN GERMANY AND THE ZAMBIAN GOVERNMENT HAS NOT AT ANY GIVEN TIME AGREED TO MOVE IT TO ZAMBIA.

WE HAVE HAD A LONGSTANDING RELATIONSHIP WITH US-AFRICOM IN THE AREAS OF PEACEKEEPING THAT HAS PREDATED THIS ADMINISTRATION AND HAS BENEFITED OUR MILITARY. ZAMBIA HAS NO INTENTION WHATSOEVER OF ESTABLISHING OR HOSTING ANY MILITARY BASES ON ZAMBIAN SOIL.

THEREFORE, THE MINISTRY OF DEFENCE WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO WARN ALL PERPETRATORS OF SUCH MISINFORMATION MEANT TO TARNISH OUR EXISTING CORDIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR NEIGHBOURS AND STRATEGIC PARTNERS, TO DESIST FROM ISSUING ALARMING STATEMENTS WHICH
HINGE ON THE SECURITY AND TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY OF OUR NATION. ANYONE WHO WILL BE FOUND WANTING AND SPREADING FALSEHOODS WILL BE DEALT WITH IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAWS OF THE COUNTRY.

THE ZAMBIAN MEDIA IS EQUALLY ADVISED TO AVOID ISSUING FALSE STATEMENTS ON DEFENCE AND SECURITY MATTERS WITHOUT CONSULTING THE MINISTRY OF DEFENCE. THE MEDIA IS FREE TO SEEK CLARIFICATION ON SUCH MATTERS FROM THE MINISTRY OF DEFENCE, BEFORE ENGAGING THE PUBLIC.

HON. AMBROSE LWIJI LUFUMA, MP
MINISTER OF DEFENCE.

40 COMMENTS

  1. The problem of this naive UPND government is that it would rather work with Americans and Europeans than fellow Africans in the AU and SADC on matters of security that affect the African continent. The UPND inferiority complex makes the whole project of regional and continental integration on the African continent to be a laughing stock of Western countries as long as they know Africans are incapable of uniting along common security, political and economic goals.

  2. Office for what! Do you know what Americans will be doing in that office… Stu.pid WE HAVE SAID NO…. Useless government…. bulls.hit

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  3. That’s how you want us to see it. When they build something somewhere in Mbala, you simply say THEY WANT TO BE ABLE TO DO THIS AND THAT, IT’S NOT A MILITARY BASE. And it will go on like that. Please let’s remain non Aligned. Let the Americans keep their dollars.

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  4. Once in a while, you got be a man, and NOT beating about the bush. That is the reason you are supposed to be a Minister of Defence, you got show you are a man. Tell Nickson Chilangwa, period.
    “In a statement last evening, the Minister warned all perpetrators of such misinformation on social media…”. RVBBISH, There are NO perpetrators of misinformation, other than the PF and its Acting Secretary General – Hon. Nickson Chilangwa MP, MCC, AIH. It’s Chilangwa who issued a FALSE statement, based on which the social media started the debate. Therefore, don’t threaten social media, people are free to debate, on such big issue, with National Interest.

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  5. @David Kaunda,
    Do you know what CHINESE do in that Embassy? Do know what HUAWEI does with their telecommunication equipment, that you have installed in Zambia?
    Cut the sh!t and avoid those cheap arguments my friend. Educate yourself and make qualified judgement….don’t just go where the wind blows!

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  6. Russia and China have been our and Africa’s friends from the time of our liberation struggle from independence and from facing the aggression of Ian Smith and Apartheid South Africa whom these same people supported. By this action you have alienated these two great powers and reliable friends. Look how America has destroyed the countries of South America with its meddling in the political and economic process. Not to mention the CIA killing of Lumumba just next door. And that’s the Cobra you have chosen to share a bed with.

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  7. @Ndoleshyafye,
    Ask European countries they will tell you more regarding Russia and ask Asian countries, they will tell more about China. Those two countries are NOT holy, as you might be suggesting.

    I thought you were talking about being “non-aligned”, but yet thus far Zambia is more inclined to the east. From what you are saying bigger presences in Zambia is more for RUSSIA/CHINA, so why are you getting mad when USA wants to balance the presence, to be truly “non-aligned”, a real 50/50 balance.

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  8. The UPND government is the most disingenuous governments Zambia has ever had. Why do we say so? It is because they are not able to learn from what has happened before and is still happening on the African continent.

    Let us look to the military agreement that the West African country Mali signed with its former French colonial master in 2013 and why the French troops are now leaving Mali. In 2013, France sent 5,000 troops to Mali at the government’s behest as it was facing an armed rebellion. Since 2013, French forces have been fighting Islamist militants such as al-Qaeda and Islamic State.

    However, over the past eight years, the French presence has become increasingly unpopular with Mali’s government and its public, as well as the French public. But we may ask as to why the French…

  9. … presence in Mali has become unpopular of late? The French forces were warmly welcomed when they first arrived in Mali in 2013, but relations have since dipped to an all time low.

    The reason advanced is that the number of terror attacks in the country has steadily increased, and so has the number of Malians joining insurgent groups. In the past nine years, the Islamist militant threat has also spread to other countries such as Burkina Faso and Niger, with insurgents raiding in the region from their bases in the Sahara.

    Many local people feel that France, as an advanced military power, should have been able to put down this insurgency and deal with the terrorist problem arising therefrom. If it is not able to do so, they say, it should then get out of the way. Some have likened…

  10. … the presence of French troops in Mali to an “occupation” that threatens Mali’s sovereignty.

    Since 55 French troops have been killed in the Sahel, the French “occupation” of Mali is not popular in France, either. There have been regular protests in Mali against the French military. There have also been arguments between the French government and Mali’s military junta, which seized power in a coup in August 2020. This was the second time a civilian government had been overthrown in eight years.

    The junta reneged on an agreement to hold democratic elections this February and says it will hold on to power until 2025. When France’s ambassador objected, he was expelled, as he was seen to be interfering in Mali’s internal affairs. President Macron said: “We cannot remain militarily…

  11. … engaged alongside de facto authorities whose strategy and hidden aims we do not share.” In April 2022, Mali’s rulers announced they would hold elections two years later, in 2024.

    France has refused to negotiate a peace deal with Islamist groups, which is a policy favoured by many Malians. France has been angered by the decision of the Mali junta to invite mercenaries from the Russian company Wagner to help in the fight against the jihadist groups. France’s Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said that “we will not be able to cohabit with mercenaries”.

    Compare this with the case of Zambia today. There has been no military threat to Zambia to warrant the opening of a US military office in Zambia. Zambia is part of the SADC and AU with common security architecture that provides…

  12. … for common responses to security threats. In view of her being part of the SADC and AU, Zambia would have been expected to go through these continental and regional bodies before entering into a military agreement with the US. Otherwise, the Zambian military arrangement with the US is a slap in the face of the AU and the SADC and does not augur well with Zambia’s past and future efforts towards regional integration. The question remains that of why Zambia should engage in a military agreement with the US with no discernible military threat to Zambia and the existence of a common security framework within SADC and the AU. Is this not a case of Zambia courting security threats to itself from US enemies who may begin to see Zambia as one with the US?

  13. The question is – and LT keeps censoring this – Why NOW after over 50 years of relations with the Americans??? Even if it is just an office, why NOW??? What has changed apart from the change of the party in government?

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  14. @ general Kanene take your stup.idity else where.. Google the mission of Africom is.. Colonialism is long gone

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  15. Why now? Because HH will do nearly anything for the West, he is such a capitalist and appears to want to please the West at the cost of the state.
    Mwanawasa refused this offer, and Sata in opposition then, agreed with the stance of Mwanawasa. I opine that RB would have taken the same stance as Levy and so would Lungu, despite his many faults.
    HH seems eager to please the West as can be seen by his IMF conditions and his agreeing to them and now his agreeing to this office.
    It is naive for anyone to believe this office is for our interest as Zambia, and that it may only end at the office.
    For anyone interested, good “kagame mining parliament of Congo Brazzaville” .
    Food for thought there.

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  16. Nowhere else in the world is Zambian life more dignified than it is in the United States of America.
    USA Africa Command (AFRICOM). is there to support that.

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  17. According to https://www.africom.mil, the mission of AFRICOM is:

    “U.S. Africa Command, with partners, counters transnational threats and malign actors, strengthens security forces, and responds to crises in order to advance U.S. national interests and promote regional security, stability, and prosperity.”

    That’s a loaded mission statement.

  18. Addition, our President and his team seem to ignore China at the nation’s detriment. They earlier went to discuss loan bailouts without including China in the discussions, our biggest lender. We all know how that went.
    And now they agree to setting up a military office of the US in the country, again disregarding China.
    These are things we should have not agreed to, on principle and also on logic.

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  19. Really laughable…US already has a defence office at that embassy in Ibex Hill…maybe even an F-35 Jet in there. Those chaps dug out a lot of sand from that construction site, all those roads around the area they used sand from there.

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  20. LETS FACE THE TRUE FACTS OF THE MATTER ATN HAND. ITS DURING THE MMD REGIME THAT THE AMERICANS STARTED BUILDING THAT HUGE STRUCTURE IN IBEX HILL AND ANY ONE REASONABLE WOULD HAVE THROWN THE REAL INTENSIONS. THE USA HAS WHAT IS CALLED LONG TERM INTERESTS. THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE LABOURED TO TELL THE TRUTH AS THINGS STAND NOW WHATEVER DEFINITION WILL BE GIVEN TO THAT ARRANGEMENT BETWEEN ZAMBIA AND AMERICA THE DEAL WAS SEALED LONG TIME AGO AND USA MILITARY ACTIVITIES AT ITS LUSAKA EMBASSY COULD NO LONGER BE HIDDEN TO PUBLIC EYE SO TO STOP PUBLIC SPECULATION THY HAD JUST TO COME OUT.THERE HAVE MANY COOPERATION ACTIVITIES BETWEEN DEFENCE ESTABLISHMENTS RANGING FROM TRAINING, LOGISTICS AND SOME EXERCISES IN THE PAST. WE NEED TO ACCEPT THE SITUATION ITS TOO LATE. .ONLY PEOPLE WITHIN OUR…

  21. Why take so long to respond? You wait for the US embassy to respond first and our Govt Spokeswoman is busy getting a salary for doing nothing

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  22. According to https://www.africom.mil, the mission of AFRICOM is:

    “U.S. Africa Command, with partners, counters transnational threats and malign actors, strengthens security forces, and responds to crises in order to advance U.S. national interests and promote regional security, stability, and prosperity.”

    That’s a loaded mission statement.

  23. What would Kagame do? He’d accept this if it comes with some sort of military aid and financial aid. There is nothing sinister about having a military base in Zambia. The best is to negotiate a beneficial arrangement. Do you know that Iran’s nuclear capabilities were built by the US and its allies? Emotions are not necessary in making such decisions. Your entire debt as a country could be wiped out if you negotiate something lucrative.

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  24. Bufi with a president who thinks salvation lies with white men at the IMF, in Europe, in the US who can say what he will do when an offer to buy our country is presented to him? It started wit privatization and a hotel in Livingstone ended up as his.

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  25. Stop issuing threats when Zambians question what you’re doing with foreign nations. Zambia is not your country alone, you dictators wannabe. What do you want Zambians to do? Just stay quiet while you walk all over them? We’re not children that you should be issuing threats every time we question your actions. This is our country too. We put you in office to do our bidding. We removed the previous regime for this same behavior you’ve started to exhibit, silencing free speech. So let the Zambians speak. Don’t stifle free speech. And don’t sell our country to the highest bidder for your own personal benefit. Your job is to protect and maintain Zambia’s sovereignty. That’s what we put you in office for. So explain your actions without issuing threats. You dictators wannabe.

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  26. #10- @David Kaunda,
    Please, TELL US what you googled, educate us, but avoid one-liner statements that do NOT make sense, that was the point. As usual, you resolve to insult, the language you speak best !.
    ALAS, even your google doesn’t help you much…….COLONIALISM is “practice of one country taking full political control of another country and occupying it with settlers for purposes of profiting from its resources and economy.”
    Now, relate this defination to what you googled about Africom and educate us.

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  27. @Chiza Chirwa – “Addition, our President and his team seem to ignore China at the nation’s detriment.”. NO….NOT TRUE !

    You seem to be out of touch, as the contact with China was resolved. Here are the articles, and do you know what is fun, they received the least COMMENTS and least VIEWS !!!! But when it comes to LIES and Propaganda, people are busy saying RVBBISH,
    – April 26, 2022 : China on board to help with Zambia’s debt -Hichilema
    – April 22, 2022: China committed to joining Zambia creditor committee -IMF’s Georgieva
    – April 13, 2022: Zambia’s Debt: China will come on board, Nkulukusa

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  28. @20, LOL. Are you aware that these news items you are quoting are an afterthought by the UPND government? They first rushed off to Washington to negotiate with IMF and then went to the EU to negotiate on Eurobond repayment. My word, we even asked Japan to turn her loans into a grant.
    Whilst all of this, China was ignored. This raised some noise and the response from the government is what you are now quoting “China on Board, China committed to JOINING, china WILL COME on board” .
    Are these news articles not self explanatory?

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  29. Lord Angus – You are already getting financial aid from the US almost a billion dillors was used to build a new drainage and sewerage system in Lusaka, water pipes now pump water to Meanwood and they change was used to construct roads in the area. The US has been supplimenting the MOH budget since the 90s. You talk of military aid with no clue of the ramifications ..you think China you owe billions of dollars will sit there whilst you enjoy equip yourself with US military hardware when you are located in China’s Belt and Road Initiative. You think all those billions they were giving you was free lunch? HH7 will soon be put in his place if he continues entertaining such ideas even Defence offices as you can not romancing with my enemy then come to me begging for Debt restructuring and…

  30. Mr Minister, please stop treats on your fellow citizens when the question over matters that will affect them long after you have left your office. Why is that office so important? I think we can leave without the American army on our door step.

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  31. @Tarino Orange; you’re a comedian. Zambia is not a colony of your Chinese friends.
    The USA already has military agreements with three SADC countries; South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. The US Army and South African Army do hold meetings and have joint training sessions. The US Warship USS Hershel ‘Wood’ Williams Which is part of the Africa Command (AFRICOM) has docking rights in Cape Town and Walvis Bay. Botswana has a security cooperation agreement with the USA. Botswana Airforce will soon be taking delivery of 10 Northrop F-5 jet fighters. Kenyan Airforce is also equipped with American Northrop F-5s. Stay informed.

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  32. @The Patriot Zambia needs more people like you to tell our politicians that free speech is every citizen’s tool. Our present politicians need lessons in governance so that they dont see themselves as being more important than other citizens. When a minister forces illicit alcohol down the throats of anyuone you are seeing a disregard for life that is evil. Our politicians need political governance lectures from the lowest level because most of them go into politics to put nsima on the table. They are always imagining the improvements to their property, the car they will drive, flights to Dubai, the deals they will do once in office. Politics is not a job but a duty. You must go into it with a plan for how you will make the nation progress We are severely in need of selfless politicians.

  33. I dont know why my ID was abbreviated above so I ‘ll repost
    @The Patriot Zambia needs more people like you to tell our politicians that free speech is every citizen’s tool. Our present politicians need lessons in governance so that they dont see themselves as being more important than other citizens. When a minister forces illicit alcohol down the throats of anyuone you are seeing a disregard for life that is evil. Our politicians need political governance lectures from the lowest level because most of them go into politics to put nsima on the table. They are always imagining the improvements to their property, the car they will drive, flights to Dubai, the deals they will do once in office. Politics is not a job but a duty. You must go into it with a plan for how you will make the…

  34. The minister should not be quick at shutting anyone. Theses are matters that affect all Zambians. Let all debate as security matters affect all Zambians. A good government is quick to listen to people. But why should we enter into agreement s like these? It would be more beneficial to enter into poverty alleviation strategies than these. Why are we so reliant on foreigners? China, Russia,USA are all the same. They all serve their own interests. When will ever learn that only Zambia will develop Zambia?

  35. A Zambian constitutional provision which specifies that Members of Parliament must have a Grade 12 qualification is valid. Educated people have an intellect to understand the value of a country’s sovereignty. Ministries of Education, Health, Defence & Transport appreciate foreign aid in the development of Zambia. Provision of education, construction of roads/rail networks and major equipments (and spare parts) by western states, China, India and Russia was enhanced by Zambia’s non-aligned national policy. Allowing USA to set up a military base in Zambia will not offer economic benefits but lose sovereignty at the expense of development. The SADC region has already organised gainful economic agendas that educated people will understand in terms of the real needs for Zambia.

  36. Anyana – China built strategic infrastructure worth billions of dollars as loans to Zambia…Zambia has no capacity to repay and you are here saying you are not a colony.
    Wake up!

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