President Michael Sata has called on the Zambia Army to live above partisan politics and continue rendering support to local and international defence initiatives, he has also asked defence minister Geoffrey Mwamba and Zambia Army commander Lieutenant General Paul Mihova to provide cultivating land for Army officers to avoid them falling into ‘temptations’.
And the MiLTEZ commandant says the continued encroachment on military training ground was negatively impacting on the training for the Zambia Army while Army commander Lieutenant General Paul Mihova says the Army shall continue proving relevant to local and international needs and has called on the government to address the housing problems faced by many soldiers in the country.
President Sata who was flown to Military Training Establishment of Zambia (Miltez) parade square at Kohima Barracks in the Presidential chopper during the passout parade of 138 officer cadets called on the newly-commissioned officers to protect all Zambians from internal and external threats.
“The profession you are being commissioned into today demands total discipline and you shall be required to be loyal to the government of the day, you shall not participate in partisan politics but you can only express your partisan political views in your boundaries (Mess),” said President Sata
He also said that he was proud that the Intake 23 of the Zambia army officers which had 138 cadets also had 35 females whom he challenged to work hard and see themselves as possible army commander. He urged them to take a leaf from Inspector general of police Stella Libongani who is the first woman Inspector General of Police in Zambia. The cadets commenced their training in July last year and President Sata openly said that his granddaughter was among the cadets, he did not however name her.
The President congratulated the Zambia army for continued provision of manpower to the international peacekeeping operations but urged the army commander to send the officers to some warring borders like the Angolan borders so that they could have practical feel of war. He said the newly commissioned officers must remain focused and disciplined. He said
“You Zambia army are lucky that there is no war in Zambia, so army commander since you have reported that the officers are now ready, you need to send them to areas which are troubled, send them to the Angolan border,” said President Sata, amid comments from members of the public.
138 cadets successfully passed out after undergoing intensive military training which saw them undertake defence, escape, evasion and administration training among others. During the parade Sean Chipumbu Kamena was awarded as the best army officer cadet and got the sword of honour while sergeant Mwila Mathews was the best in academics. The best cadet officer in field operations award went to Christopher Kabwe and Richard Banda got the escape, evasion and survival skills best award with Minyoi Sakala as best in the all weapon handling category. Sakala was also the only female award recipient. MILTEZ commandant Colonel Prince Hakaningi has bemoaned the continued encroachment on military training ground and says the activity makes it difficult for the instructors to effectively train the cadet. Colonel Hakaningi was however quick to say that despite all the challenges faced along the way, the intake 23 was conducted. Colonel Hakaningi said the continued encroachment on military training ground made it difficult for instructors to train the cadets.