A senior government official in the Ministry of Defence has expressed surprise at the PF government’s panic and reaction to UPND president, Hakainde Hichilema’s disclosure that the Zambian government is sending PF cadres to Sudan to undergo military training.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source said it was true that the PF cadres that will go to Sudan will undergo military training while at the universities there.
The source told the Watchdog that the Sudanese upper education system is the way the Zambian system was during the Kaunda days where it was mandatory for all students to undergo basic military training under the Zambia National Service (ZNS).
“As you may know, the Sudanese government is fighting militants there hence the need for all their people to undergo basic military training as was the case in Zambia when we were fighting liberation wars”, the source said.
Recently the Patriotic Front signed a memorandum of understanding with with Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party, which will see PF cadres being offered scholarships to study at that country’s African International University.
In an interview with the PF controlled Post Newspaper of Sun 06 May 2012, PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba said the programme was going to absorb the unemployed youths, who would be given the required knowledge to enable them come back to Zambia and contribute to the development of the country.
According to the source, Zambians should take note of Kabimba’s words in the article when he said “The signatories further agreed to stand up against any external force intending to destabilise the peace and or stability of any of the two nations or their nationals”.
Below is the full story as it was carried by the PF Post newspaper:
PF secures Sudanese scholarships for cadres
By Moses Kuwema
THE Patriotic Front has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party, which will see PF cadres being offered scholarships to study at that country’s African International University.
In an interview, PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba said the programme was going to absorb the unemployed youths, who would be given the required knowledge to enable them come back to Zambia and contribute to the development of the country.
“Firstly, a country can only develop if it has a reservoir of qualified human capital. So as PF, this is a priority area in terms of developing this reservoir among our youths. There are a number of youths now that are qualified to enter the University of Zambia or other colleges in Zambia, but because they come from poor families and their parents cannot afford the fees that are charged at UNZA. And yet these are intelligent young men and women that can contribute to the development of our country. So we really appreciate this partnership that we have developed under the MoU with the NCP of Sudan,” he said.
Kabimba said the first batch of at least 15 students was expected to leave for Khartoum in May next year and that this would be an annual programme.
He said this was one of the benefits that would be given to PF cadres for being members of the party.
“We shall give priority to PF youths because we think that is one of their benefits for being members. The government has scholarships, which are open to all the citizens of Zambia but for these, these are party scholarships and therefore, only PF youths are eligible to be selected for these scholarships. These are not government scholarships,” he said.
Kabimba said the PF was engaging other political parties internationally under similar programmes in order to offer more university opportunities for their youths.
The objective of the MoU was to confirm the determination of the parties to create a strong relationship of strategic partnership for cooperation between them in various fields and establishing a framework of working together as political partners in the mutual interest of both nations.
The signatories that included Kabimba and NCP vice president Dr Nafie Ali Nafie agreed to exchange views on bilateral relations between the NCP and PF, promote regular exchanges between the two parties strategists and advisors, brief each other and exchange views on domestic, political, economic and social issues on regular basis and exchange relevant data, documents and publications.
The signatories further agreed to stand up against any external force intending to destabilise the peace and or stability of any of the two nations or their nationals, develop economic ties between the two nations through investment, trade and business partnerships, provide logistic support to incoming delegations regarding appointments and access, work together to establish a common forum for African political parties and develop exchange programmes for women, youths and students.