Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Serve the Zambian people regardless of political affiliation, tribe, religion, Minister urges defence forces

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Minister of Defence Ambrose Lwiji Lufuma has implored defence force officers to serve the Zambian people regardless of political affiliation, tribe, religion, race or creed.

And Mr. Lufuma has called on the defence force officers not to involve themselves in partisan politics saying they are the guardians of peace for a cross section of Zambians from different political backgrounds.

Speaking at the 2022 Zambia Air Force (ZAF) Annual Ball held at Chamba Valley Officers Mess in Lusaka over the weekend, Mr. Lufuma said defence force officers should be good examples in society.

He said there was a need for ZAF officers to exemplify the core values of unity in diversity, equality before the law, respect for the freedoms and rights of all citizens.

Mr. Lufuma further preached transparency, accountability and social justice in ZAF.

“Your duty is to serve the Zambian people regardless of political party, tribe, religion, race or creed. I call upon you to lead by example and exemplify the core values of unity in diversity, equality before the law, respect for the freedoms and rights of all citizens, transparency, accountability and social justice,” Mr. Lufuma said.

The Kabombo Member of Parliament further commended the men and women in uniform for safeguarding the Zambian airspace and promoting peace.

The Minister assured the Zambia Air Force (ZAF) of continued support from the Ministry of Defence and the New Dawn Government.

Mr. Lufuma described the event as an opportunity for ZAF to exchange ideas and promote much needed unity, strengthening ties with stakeholders from varying backgrounds.

He called on the ZAF Officers to continue being professional in the equitable provision of security and justice which is essential to the basic function of the country.

The lawmaker said injustice impedes access to services such as education, health, water and sanitation.

Meanwhile ZAF Commander Lt Gen Colin Barry said ZAF was active in enhancing both continental and regional peace and playing a key role in airlifting both equipment and personnel to Mozambique in support of peace enforcement operations under the SAMIM and other operations.

He observed that Air Force operations were critical to the progress of the Nation and as such he was going to ensure that personnel remained well trained, equipped and up to the task as and when called upon by continuing to invest in personnel training and the acquisition of equipment.

General Barry stated that ZAF had been pivotal in the evacuation of casualties and patients from various parts of the country to numerous medical facilities for the necessary medical attention as well as Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit Operations.

“ZAF played crucial roles in evacuating Namwala and Luano valley flood victims. The Air Force also airlifted the United Church of Zambia accident victims in Nsumbu in the Northern Province, responsive to emergencies such as pest control throughout the country and fire outbreaks especially within the city, as was the case when the Public Service Pension Fund building was gutted by fire” said the ZAF Commander.

“ZAF continues to instigate partnerships with numerous reputable institutions and establishments through the signing of MoUs. Notable among them are the Zambia Flying Doctors Service and the Zambia Air Service Flying Institute (ZASTI). The latter is a conduit through which additional aircrew training and the expansion of Zambia Airways are made possible,” he added.

Meanwhile, General Barry announced that the ZAF had been granted authority to acquire land for various investments and developmental projects not only to increase Air Force presence to enhance security within the country, but present possibilities of more personnel recruitment and economic developments to the local population thereby providing professional employment opportunities to the Zambia citizenry.

Meanwhile, General Barry highlighted the performance of ZAF supported teams on the local sports front.

“Our team also emerged winners of the Samuel Ndlovu Charity Shield for the 2022 season. The only tournament where we were runners up was the ABSA cup 2021/2022. It’s a similar story when you examine other sporting disciplines such as rugby, basketball, chess and athletics. It is only that we are a humble service and boasting is not part of our nature, otherwise “ZAF NIPATALI”, the Air Force Commander said.

ZAF teams won both the National Football League and the National Rugby League in 2022.

The 2022 ZAF Annual Ball was held at Chamba Valley Officers Mess under the theme ‘ Achieving excellence through professional, accountable and well-motivated personnel’.

According to the ZAF Public Relations Unit, the event was attended by senior Officers from the ZAF, representatives from other Services, senior government officials, civic leaders and ZAF cooperating partners.

6 COMMENTS

    • I agree. This minister feels irrelevant because he doesnt know what to say to the defence force. He knows not the purpose of an army so he goes around opening his mouth about what the soldiers already know. He should be transferred to be a PS in local government

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