The Zambia Army has announced that Republican President and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Force, Hakainde Hichilema, is expected in Mbala District, Northern Province, to witness the special forces officers’ operatives’ induction parade next month.
Zambia Army Commander, Lieutenant General Sitali Dennis Alibuzwi, said this when he called on Mbala District Commissioner Annie Paul.
30 officers finalising training are out of the 313 who were commissioned by President Hichilema in 2022 and volunteered to join the Special Forces.
“The President will be in our midst on the 17th of the coming month, if all goes according to plan, to grace the forthcoming induction of army officers undergoing Special Forces training. We are just finalising the preparations, after which he will be called.”
This whole training finally qualifies trainee officers and soldiers as special forces operatives,” Lt General Alibuzwi said.
In welcoming the Army Commander, Ms Paul thanked the Zambia Army for its continued support towards various developmental initiatives in the district and heaped praise on the Mbala-based commandos for their good conduct.
During another courtesy call on Mpulungu District Commissioner, Gehard Sikazwe, the Army Commander received commendations, owing to the hard work and commitment to duty by the Zambia Army officers and soldiers from the Commando Unit deployed in the area.
The Army Commander and his entourage are in the district to witness the final days of training for 29 officers and one soldier of the Zambia Army who volunteered to become Special Forces operatives.
Initially, 32 officers and one soldier volunteered to undergo special forces training, of whom one withdrew due to the pressure associated with the operatives, while two other officers sustained injuries, with one succumbing to them after undergoing several weeks of treatment, bringing the total down to 29 officers and one soldier.
The entourage was greeted by several demonstrations, including night attacks, raids, demolitions, and live and night firing as part of the final exercise.
The entourage also took time to appreciate local tourism by visiting Kalambo Falls and the Moto Moto Museum, situated in Mbala district, and took time to appreciate an outward bound area earmarked for Commando direct entry recruit training.
Zambia Army Spokesperson Col Martin Kalaluka Liyungu said the 30 officers finalising training are out of the 313 who were commissioned by President Hichilema in 2022 and volunteered to join the Special Forces.
Meanwhile, the Zambia Army has described Joseph Mwape, an officer and commando trainee who lost his life on Saturday, as disciplined and brave.
Speaking during his burial over the weekend, Special Forces Group Commander Brigadier General Swana, representing the Army Commander, said 2 Lt Mwape exhibited high performance on duty and always led by example.
And Zambia Army Commander Lieutenant General Sitali Dennis Alibuzwi has expressed solace to the officer’s family.
During a condolence visit to the funeral home in Kanyama, Lt Gen Alibuzwi comforted the family and expressed his empathy for their loss.
“On behalf of the Zambia Army, I convey my deepest sympathies. There are no appropriate words to express to someone who has suffered a loss, particularly a child’s. Words can never take away the deep pain, but our presence here is a reminder that we are together in these sorrowful times. “Our thoughts are with you, and we wish you courage and peace as you sail through these difficult times,” the Army Commander said.
The late 2 Lt Mwape, 23, who has also been described as a hero and determined young man by his family, joined the Zambia Army as a cadet officer in January 2021 and was commissioned in February 2022.
He was posted to 10 medium regiments in Ndola then 48 Marines, and later went for his basic special forces training in Mbala.
2 Lt Mwape sustained an injury during a training exercise, and he was quickly rushed to the hospital, where he received treatment until the time of his death.