MINISTER of Defence Edgar Lungu has warned that if the systematic invasion of the Mikango Barracks training grounds by some senior government officials, Ministers and Patriotic Front (PF) cadres is not halted, the country security would be highly compromised.
Mr Lungu told the Daily Nation yesterday that the invasion of military land by government officials and party zealots is not only happening in Lusaka but also in many other military training areas across the country.
He said the senior government officials, ministers and party cadres who were invading military training grounds were also compromising the training of military personnel.
Mr Lungu has appealed to the Ministry of Lands to stop the vice before the security of the country was put at risk.
He said it was unfortunate that government officials and party cadres were wantonly invading land belonging to Zambia Army and other military departments adding that he had been talking against the vice for a long time but that there was no cooperation from those involved in the illegal acts.
Mr Lungu revealed that the training grounds in Lilayi had also been invaded by some known people adding that if the trend was not stopped, Zambia would end up having no land for military training, a situation he said would put the security of the country at high risk.
He explained that while commissioning commandos in Lukanga Barracks in Kabwe, he was informed that the military training grounds were being invaded.
Mr Lungu said those responsible for the administration of land should be mindful that military training required secrecy and that it was supposed to be done away from residential areas so that human life was not threatened.
“If the systematic invasion of military training grounds is not going to be arrested, then we are done as a country. The people who have invaded out military training grounds have not only compromised the training of our military personnel but have highly compromised the security of the nation. And this is not only happening in Lusaka but all the military barracks are under threat of being invaded and the fact that Mikango Barracks target shooting grounds have been invaded, there is a danger that many other military training areas would be invaded and unless we halt these illegalities, we are doomed as a country,” Mr Lungu said.
He said those responsible for the administration of land should ensure that sensitive pieces of land such as training grounds were protected from invasion.
Mr Lungu said it was unfortunate that the people who were expected to protect military training grounds were the ones involved in the vice.The Daily Nation has exposed a scandal in which senior government officials, ministers in connivance with PF officials and cadres have invaded Mikango Barracks training grounds and have shared the plots with some people from Ministries of Lands and Defence as well as ministers having given themselves up to 10 plots of between six and nine hectors.
The Daily Nation has a list of all the senior government officials, ministers and party cadres who have invaded Mikango Barracks training grounds and are now threatening to evict villagers from Njolwe village, a move that has angered the local people.