MINISTERIAL STATEMENT ON CHILUFYA TAYALI ALLEGATIONS REGARDING THE ZAMBIA ARMY
Dear countrymen and women,
The Ministry of Defence would like to inform the general public that, of late there have been social media reports and addresses on different platforms purporting that the Zambia Army sent Special Forces to Mr Chilufya Tayali’s home to harm him and in the process arrested his garden boy.
We would like to state that the Ministry of Defence and the Zambia Army in particular, deny these allegations that, at no time did the Army or any wing of the defence force go to Mr Tayali’s house to breach his fence perimeter to force entry into his house to either arrest or harm him.
If at all there were any non-state security actors or any private security firm clad in military regalia bearing resemblance to any of our military wings uniform that was mistaken for our defence force at Mr Tayali’s premises, that should not be insinuated as Zambia Army or any of its sister services.
My government, through this ministry, is also aware of innuendos and calculated manoeuvers from unscrupulous people to destabilise the country by weakening the defence force, and we, therefore, caution the public not to take everything that comes from social tabloids as gospel truth.
As the Ministry of Defence, we want to make it clear that we will avoid endangering the public on matters of national security through the media.
Zambia practices tenets of good governance and democracy, some of which are, freedom of speech, the rule of law, and the right for the people to participate in politics and affiliate any to political party of their choice.
However, these personal and universal rights should not be abused. In this vein, the ministry also wishes to state that it will not accept any politician putting the name of the defence force into disrepute for any political expedience.
As a result, the Ministry of Defence and the Zambia Army wish to urge members of the public, especially those with intentions to destabilize the peace and security of this country, to exercise this right with sensitivity and responsibility.
Furthermore, the ministry would want to issue a timely advice to all politicians Mr Tayali inclusive, that conspiracy against the defence force and the presidency is a violation of the laws of Zambia and constitutes an offence.
I also wish to state categorically that the Zambia Army remains a people’s and professional army mandated by the constitution to defend and serve the nation at all times.
I therefore, urge citizens to always protect the good name of the Army and its works, and the defence and security wings in general, and never allow desperate citizens to damage the country’s reputation.
We want to advise political leaders against dragging the Zambia Army into politics as it is non-partisan.
Countrymen and women, I urge citizens to always safeguard the peace in this country by respecting those entrusted with powers to maintain it and avoid political strife which may plunge this country into chaos like what happening in other countries where politicians have drugged the military into politics.
Our military will always protect the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia and remains resolute in the promotion of democratic tenets and principles by respecting the government’s constitutional oversight role by the security wings.
Remember, unrest and instability in the country will affect all residents including and especially the vulnerable such as our children and the women.
It’s our responsibility to guard the peace that we enjoy jealously. It is easy to destabilize and break the peace we enjoy today than to maintain or rebuild it.
Therefore, I urge all well-meaning Zambians to guard and protect the peace, stability, and sovereignty that we enjoy as a country jealously.
I thank you.
Hon Ambrose L Lufuma – MP
Minister of Defence