By STEVEN ZANDE –
PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has said the Government desires to see a professional defence force whose officers possess knowledge beyond defence and security matters to enable them contribute to national development.
Mr Lungu implored defence and security officers to be vigilant andguard against involving themselves in corrupt activities, saying Government has intensified efforts against graft to foster development.
“We are, therefore, determined to defence personnel with abilitiesthat will enable them have capacity to continue contributing tonational development beyond their years in the defence and securityservices,” Mr Lungu said.
Mr Lungu said this yesterday at Arakan Barracks in a speech read for him by Defence Minister Davies Chama at the 21st Graduation Ceremony of the Command and Staff Course.
A total of 63 officers, one of them posthumously, graduated out ofthe 68 Zambian and Southern African Development Community (SADC)students who underwent training in values of military profession and an in-depth understanding of the strategic thought and operation alart.
Mr Lungu was impressed with the high quality of course content and the rigorous training to which the graduates had been subjected.
He said the combined training of Zambian and regional defence officerswould help strengthen regional and international peace efforts because troops from different countries would have shared understanding.
Mr Lungu said shared understanding among deployed troops would help inachieving the desired goals in peace keeping missions.
He also said Government had prioritised the fight against corruption and fraud, saying the State was steadfast in its effort to develop thenation and improve living standards among the people.
Mr Lungu said failure to combat corruption would render ineffective all national development efforts hence the need for all Zambians tojoin the fight against the scourge.
Earlier, Defence Services and Staff College Commandant Sitali Alibuzwi said the graduating officers had emerged confident and prepared to undertake regional and international peace keeping efforts.