Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Who Advises Hichilema on Military Matters


By Dr. Fred M’membe, President of the Socialist Party

Military traditions seem to be weakening in our armed forces. The military is built on traditions, customs and manners, and as a result its members share a common experience.

As Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of our military, it can be very valuable for Mr Hakainde Hichilema to learn about the traditions and customs his soldiers and officers participate in as a part of the military community. Knowing the basics of common military traditions and customs can help Mr Hichilema feel more comfortable visiting his soldiers and officers on an installation or attending a military ceremony.

The military, as a social institution, plays an important role in ensuring the stability of society and maintaining peace. At the same time, it is important for the key leadership of our country to understand the genesis of the formation of military traditions, their further development, and improvement. After all, the Armed Forces are manifested as a specific society, where there are specific military traditions that have been formed over a historical period of time. Military traditions have a positive impact on the combat readiness of those serving in our armed forces.

On December 21, Mr Hichilema officiated at the Zambia National Service (ZNS) Golden Jubilee celebrations in Chongwe District. The organisation of this celebration, in terms of military traditions and customs, was disastrous. ZNS Commandant Lt Gen Maliti Solochi miserably failed to follow basic military traditions and customs, and the net effect of this was to show a lack of respect for the Commander-in-Chief.

Lt Gen Solochi failed to present a mock guard of honour for the Commander-in-Chief as required by military traditions and customs. This was shocking to those who understand military traditions and customs, who understand how things should be done and who should do them.

And legally, Lt Gen Solochi is not Commander of ZNS. He is Commandant. The Commander of ZNS is the Zambia Army Commander, Lt Gen Dennis Alibuzwi. Legally, ZNS is a unit of the Zambia Army. It has been a very big mistake to make the ZNS Commandant have the same rank as that of the Zambia Army Commander. The Zambia Army Commander is supposed to be the highest ranked serving officer, followed by the Zambia Air Force Commander. This creates a smooth command structure.
Mr Hichilema should be correctly advised on how things are supposed to be done by the military, and should also have it explained to him how far the ZNS Commandant can go.

Lt Gen Solochi is always telling his officers that he wants to bring ZNS to the same level, capacity, and standards as Zambia Army. Is this country going to have two armies?

And the story told by Lt Gen Solochi about the attack on the Chongwe Bridge by the racist, white Rhodesian forces of Ian Smith is also untrue – he twisted the facts. I know this very well because at that time I was a military reservist under the ZNS. This can endanger national security and should be carefully watched.
In the military, everything has a tradition, a history. Nothing happens just like that – there’s no chipante pante!

Lt Gen Solochi should know that even the way service chiefs sit with the President has a tradition, a meaning, and a purpose. In the military, things don’t just happen anyhow.


  1. I have also been wondering if the ZNS Commandant has been elevated. We also have the Zambia Correctional Service, what’s the position of the ZCS Commandant in relation to the IG? That position has always been below the IG. Maybe we should revert to the old system where we had just one Commander for the 3 defense units

    • Fred is right in Kaunda’s time the ZNDF commander was the boss of all defence forces, followed by ZAF commander then ZNS

  2. “I know this very well because at that time I was a military reservist under the ZNS.”
    The more he writes about himself the more he exposes himself…I am sure everyone during Fred’s time was a ZNS reservists just after the completed school and Fred is the last person to be preaching about discipline!!

  3. Ordinary hypocrites pretend to be doves; political and literary hypocrites pretend to be eagles. But don’t be disconcerted by their aquiline appearance. They are not eagles, but rats or dogs.
    — Anton Chekhov, 1860-1904, Russian writer

  4. Had a lovely Christmas Remembrance Day with family and my new grand daughter was amazing on her first Christmas experience – quite refreshing away from KZ rants -from a frustrated fugitive.

  5. Fred Mmembe says ‘I know this very well because at that time I was a military reservist under the ZNS.” This is laughable but not in a funny way! He is now a ‘Military Expert’ ready to dispense advice!!! This w@nker’s has ignorance has no limits!!!

  6. Thanks KZ, since PF destroyed a good well cultured Zambian environment to raise young people, parents to my grand daughter will stay abroad till further notice. So, your home address is Ibex Meanwood, near Munir Zulu’s house OR Cheetham Hill in Manchester UK.

    • If you don’t know where my home is then you are not that important. I own homes in UK but not in Manchester. Try London and Scotland. I am renting them out. You might even be my f00IIsh tenant for all you know

  7. Ba HH you have blundered. I remember ZNS was led by a Brig General. The army by a Lt General now you ve given them same rank?

  8. John Tushimi is a hopeless liar. Why does he put on a suit in such functions other than putting on a military regalia? He calls himself Commander In Chief but cannot abide by military code of dressing. When he goes to attend Kuomboka Ceremony, he is busy putting on musisi. All this is a person who has no respect for other sections of society.

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