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Zambian new President Hichilema fires top army, police commanders

By Mireri Junior and Agencies | August 30th 2021

Zambia's President Hakainde Hichilema with Kenya’s former Prime minister Raila Odinga during his swearing-in ceremony in Lusaka, Zambia on August 25, 2021. [Standard]

Zambia’s new President Hakainde Hichilema has replaced the country’s top military commanders and the head of the police—and signalled a focus on the security forces being more accountable to the citizens.

Three days after taking the oath of office, President Hichilema on Sunday announced new commanders of the Zambian army, the air force and the national service and their deputies, as well as a new inspector general of police.

Hichilema named Army Deputy Commander Dennis Alibuzwi as the new Army Commander and consequently promoted him to the rank of Lieutenant General with immediate effect.

Lieutenant General Alibuzwi replaces Lieutenant General William Sikazwe who served as army commander for two years and eight months since his appointment in 2018.

Brigadier General Geoffrey Zyeele was appointed as the new Deputy Army Commander and Chief of Staff, and assumes the rank of Major General.

“This evening we made some changes in the Defence and Security Wings of our nation. Lt. General Dennis Alibuzwi is the New Zambia Army Commander and will be deputised by Major General Geoffrey Zyeele, as Deputy Army Commander and Chief of Staff,” He tweeted on Sunday.

At the Zambian Air Force (ZAF), the Head of State retired Air Commander, Lieutenant General David Muma and replaced him with Brigadier General Collins Barry, who he has subsequently promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-General.

Further, Brigadier General Oscar Nyoni has been appointed as ZAF Deputy Commander and has been promoted to the rank of Major General.

“Lt. General Collins Barry is the new ZAF Commander and will be deputised by Major General Oscar Nyoni as Deputy Air Commander. Lt. General Patrick Solochi is the new ZNS Commandant and will be deputised by Major General Reuben Mwewa as Deputy Commandant.”

President Hichilema has also made changes at the Zambia National Service (ZNS) by relieving ZNS Commandant Lieutenant General Nathan Mulenga of his duties and replacing him with Brigadier General Patrick Solochi, who has since been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-General.

Lieutenant General Patrick Solochi will be deputised by now Major General Reuben Mwewa who was before this appointment and subsequent promotion, at the rank of Brigadier General.

All regional police commissioners have been relieved of their duties but their replacements have not been named.

Meanwhile, the President has recalled and appointed Remmy Kajoba as the new Inspector General of Police, replacing Kakoma Kanganja.

Hichilema appointed Milner Muyambango to the position of Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of operations and also appointed Doris Chibombe as Deputy Inspector General in charge of administration.

“Mr Remmy Kajoba is the new Inspector General of Police and his deputy for operations is Mr Milner Muyambango, while Doris Chibombe is Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Administration,” he said.

In the new shakeup, President Hichilema relieved all Provincial Commissioners of Police of their duties with immediate effect, pending normalisation of the appointment process to the said portfolios.

Hichilema stated that there will be re-organisation in the appointment of Provincial Commissioners of Police.

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