UNLESS the fight against corruption and fraud is won, Zambia’s development efforts will be thwarted, President Edgar Lungu has said.
He said it was the duty of all citizens to join in the fight against corruption.
President Lungu said the Patriotic Front (PF) Government had placed high premium on the fight against corruption and fraud because the vice was negating the economic development of the country.
The President said he was encouraged that military personnel at the Staff College in Lusaka had started interacting with State investigation agencies such as the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) to orient themselves about corruption and fraud. He said as Commander In-Chief of the Armed Forces, he was imploring officers in the defence and security wings to avoid the temptation of getting involved in corrupt practices and be part of the solution to the challenge.
President Lungu said this yesterday at the graduation ceremony of the eighteenth Command and Staff Course at Arackan Barracks in Lusaka.
“My Government has put high premium on the fight against corruption and fraud. As Government we remain resolute to foster development in the nation to improve the living standards of our people. We believe that unless the fight against corruption and fraud is won, all our national development efforts will be thwarted,” President Lungu said.
President Lungu said the desire of his Government was to have a defence force that was grounded in professionalism with officers that possessed well-rounded and balanced knowledge not only in matters of defence and security but in other disciplines of knowledge.
He said Government was determined to equip the defence and security forces with abilities that would make them have the capacity to continue contributing to national development beyond their years in the defence and security forces.
President Lungu said the affiliation of the Staff College to the University of Zambia (UNZA) was a source of joy and was happy that the university had commenced offering the masters degree programme in defence and security studies.
He said security in the new political dispensation was no longer a responsibility of individual States but a collaborative effort of all nations in pursuit of international peace and security in line with the United Nations (UN) Charter.
President Lungu said Zambian troops had often encountered challenges of lack of co-operation in peace-keeping missions from other deployed forces because of diversity of training, doctrines and concepts of operations.
“Our defence forces are solely for the purpose of national defence and Zambia is still committed to respecting the principles of non-interference in internal affairs of other countries to achieve coexistence. My Government’s desire is to continue to cooperate with other neighbouring countries and those beyond,” President Lungu said.