News24

Zambia: Banda shakes up defence

2010-04-08 10:41

Lusaka - Zambian President Rupiah Banda on Wednesday shook up the country's defence and security services in a move to boost morale among junior officers ahead of next year's elections.

Banda announced the retirement of senior security and defence chiefs at a news briefing at the state house, saying there was a need to instill morale among junior officers.

"The retirement is not because of failure to perform and loyalty," he said.

"I am aware that middle- to high-ranking officers in the Zambia Air Force, Zambia Army and the Zambia National Service have expressed concern at the slow pace of motivating and promotion to high ranks.

"These changes are meant to encourage the young ones to aspire to higher heights," Banda added.

The opposition Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata has claimed that defence and security chiefs stay too long in their jobs, demoralising junior officers.

The commanders of the army, air force and security service were all retired and replaced by junior officers.

Banda, who came to power in 2008, has said he will seek re-election on the ticket of his ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) when Zambia goes to the polls next year.