Zambia Army soldiers and officers Mutiny

On March 18, 2022 – the day president Rupiah Bwezani Banda was being put to rest – about 900 Zambia Army soldiers and officers went on mutiny. This is the first time such a thing has happened in the history of the Zambia Army. These were soldiers and officers who had just returned from a United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic.

What caused the mutiny? It was the failure of the UPND leadership to fulfill election campaign promises. During the election campaigns, peacekeeping the UPND leadership had promised to pay soldiers and officers on peacekeeping missions their full allowances instead of the 50 per cent they were being paid by the previous governments. And when these soldiers and officers returned from the Central African Republic last month, this UPND government refused to pay them all the allowances they had earned. The soldiers and officers refused to be paid only 50 per cent of what they had earned from the UN peacekeeping mission. This was the cause of the mutiny.

But this legitimate grievance was taken advantage of by some senior officers in the Zambia Army who were promised certain command positions by the UPND leadership which they are yet to deliver. These senior officers are believed to have encouraged and abated this mutiny to undermine the current Zambia Army command in the hope of having it replaced. And they took no steps to discourage or stop the mutiny when it happened.

There are questions about this mutiny that seek honest answers from the key leadership of the UPND government:

  • How has this mutiny been handled?
  • What did the Zambia Army command do about this mutiny?
  • What did the President of the Republic of peacekeepingZambia do as commander-in-chief?
    The defence Act, Cap 106 of the laws of Zambia is very clear on what constitutes a mutiny and how all those involved in it should be dealt with. Has the defence Act been strictly adhered to in this mutiny? If not so, why?

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party


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