President Hakainde Hichilema has praised the Zambian Army for the continued active role it’s playing in ensuring that there is peace and stability at national and international level.
President Hichilema says he is proud of the role that the Zambian battalion deployed to the Central African Republic (CAR) by carrying out the national duty of making sure that they protect both lives and property.
He noted that the troops have shown unwavering dedication and commitment to duty which they were sent for, adding that government will continue to provide all the needed support to them.
“Firstly, I wish commend the command structures of the Zambia Army at national, regional and global levels for the continued dedication and hard work in carrying out your duties, I must say that we are proud of you and will support you all the time,” he said
The President was speaking at State House today when he addressed over 110 soldiers Zambia Battalion number eight (ZAMBAT 8) deployed to CAR under the United Nations (UN) Multi National Stabilisation Mission through a video conference call.
President Hichilema acknowledged that government is aware of the various challenges that the troops face ranging from resources, inadequate equipment and other logistics among others that are needed for them to discharge their duties efficiently.
He said these challenges should not disturb the focus of the mission, as government is putting measures in place to provide all the necessary support to alleviate the constraints for the troops to achieve their targeted mission.
The Head of State confirmed that government has executed the Statutory Instrument to allow full payment of all allowances for the soldiers that are saving at the mission, noting the move has been long over due.
” Even as we try to restructure and reconstruct the economy following a number of economic challenges like the conflict between Russia and Ukraine which has led to increased cost of fuel and farming, the coming of the global recession, government will work with other partners to support your good work all the time, I can once again confirm that just like we promised when we were in the opposition to review the allowances paid to you, am pleased to confirm that myself has executed the SI so that you are paid full allowances,” said President Hichilema.
The President informed the soldiers that back home, government is also putting in place modalities to improve the living standards of all the people in the country.
He cited the provision of free education and the increase in the Constituency Development Funds (CDF), as some of the deliberate measures that government is implementing to make the lives of the people easy.
” We have continued to change things back home, we are providing free education, enhanced CDF to take development to localities were families are, this will reduce pressure on you, so that you can focus on your work and career,” he added.
President Hichilema further encouraged the soldiers to also ensure that peace, security and stability is maintained everywhere, saying instability in one country is instability everywhere.
He also urged them to continue working hard to protect each other and remain united and strong as the country also continues to pray for them as they execute their duties.
And Zambia Army Commander Sitali Alibuzwi thanked President Hichilema for engaging with the troops that are on a peace keeping mission in CAR.
Lieutenant General Alibuzwe said the engagement with the Head of State is a big motivation to the battalion, as it has never happened in the history of the country.
” Mr President I wish to thank for the interaction with the soldiers in the mission, this is gives great morale to battalion, it’s the first time this kind of address is been made to the troops on such a mission,” he said