PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema has advised the just appointed defence and service chiefs that they are coming in to safeguard the welfare of Zambians at all times.
The President was speaking at his New Kasama residence in Lusaka this evening.
Meanwhile, President Hichilema has fired all the 10 provincial commissioners of police with immediate effect.
In the Zambia Army, the Head of State has appointed Major General Dennis Sitali Alibuzwi as the new Army Commander replacing Lieutenant General William Sikazwe.
Maj Gen Alibuzwi was until today Zambia Army deputy commander.
“By virtue of being the Commander-In-Chief of the Zambia Armed Forces, I hereby appoint Major General Dennis Alibuzwi as the new Army Aommander. [I] consequently promote him to the rank of Lieutenant General in the Zambia Army with immediate effect,” President Hichilema announced. “I have relieved with immediate the services of Lieutenant General William Sikazwe as army commander with immediate effect, to be re-deployed soon.”
He hailed Lt Gen Sikazwe for the: “wonderful job” he did “to lead us during the transition period.”
“Most of you have no understanding of what was going on but he and his team did a wonderful job,” he stressed. “So, it’s with great respect that we’ll be very delighted for him to serve us, as a country, in another role and with honour. He acted honourably! [I have] great respect for him.”
President Hichilema has also recalled Brigadier General Godfrey Zyeele and appointed him to be Zambia Army deputy commander and chief of staff.
Brig Gen Zyeele has since been promoted to the rank of major general with immediate effect.
In the Zambia Air Force (ZAF), Brigadier General Collins Barry is the new commander, and has been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General with immediate effect.
Lt Gen Barry replaces Lt Gen David Michael Muma who was been fired with immediate effect.
“He, too, did a commendable job under very difficult circumstances and he, too, will be re-deployed to serve our people in a different capacity,” President Hichilema said of Lt Gen Muma.
Brigadier General Oscar Musitu Nyoni becomes the ZAF deputy commander and chief of staff.
He has since been promoted to the rank of major general with immediate effect.
President Hichilema further disclosed that Brigadier General Patrick Solochi is the new Zambia National Service (ZNS) commandant to replace Lt Gen Nathan Mulenga.
Brig Gen Solochi has since been promoted to the rank of Lt Gen in the ZNS with immediate effect.
“Lieutenant General Nathan Mulenga would be re-deployed later,” President Hichilema said, adding that Brigadier General Rueben Mwewa is the new ZNS deputy commandant and chief of staff and that he has been promoted to the rank of major general with immediate effect.
Major General Benson Miti, who was the ZNS deputy commandant, has been relieved with immediate effect.
“He, too, will be re-deployed,” President Hichilema said.
For the Zambia Police, the President has recalled former Muchinga and Lusaka provinces commissioner of police Lemmy Kajoba and appointed him to be the new Inspector General.
Kajoba’s contract in the police service, then as police commissioner for Lusaka Province, was terminated by former president Edgar Lungu in February 2015.
Kajoba replaces Kakoma Kanganja, who has been fired with immediate effect.
“Equally, he (Kanganja) would be re-assigned elsewhere,” President Hichilema said.
“I’m also recalling Mr Milner Muyambango and appointing him as the new deputy Inspector General of Police – operations – with immediate.”
Doris Nayame Chibombe is the other deputy Inspector General of Police – administration.
Deputy inspector general of police – operations, Charity Katanga and deputy inspector of general – administration, Richard Mweene, have been fired.
“Further, I’m relieving all commissioners of police from their duties with immediate effect. All [provincial police] commissioners, there is re-organisation coming in there,” President Hichilema said.
“Now you have a situation where the Inspector General of Police, two deputies are sworn-in by the President and all the commissioners in the provinces [are sworn-in by the President].”
He explained that arrangement was creating a problem in terms of the command structure to an extent where some times the commissioners were acting outside the direction of the Inspector General of Police.
“You saw sometimes the chaos that was there. So, we want to be orderly. We want to have a command structure that is very clear, and some of these commissioners may end up coming back under the new structure, but with a clear command structure where the Inspector General of Police is in charge of the police,” President Hichilema said. “These are the changes that we have announced today. [But] we’ll continue with this process tomorrow. Be patient; we’ll continue with this process tomorrow.”
To exiting defence and service chiefs, the President praised their diligent service to Zambia.
“They deserve our respect [and] our compassion. So, we believe that the media will not demonise the colleagues that are going because we are not demonising them,” he said. “There is time for everything! We all move in. Yesterday or the day before, there was a president [and] today there is a new President. A couple of years [from now], who knows! One of you journalists maybe the new president for this country, and then life goes on.”
For the incoming defence and service chiefs, the President said: “we urge you to understand why you are coming [in]. [It’s] for the people of Zambia all the time.”
President Hichilema also indicated that the Zambia Police should not arrest anyone before an investigation is carried out.