‘Current army commander is a serious tribalist’

Mr Editor,

        I want to express my concern over the unethical way in which officers are getting promotions and appointment in the Zambia Army right now. Sometimes I tend to wonder if at all its part of the nepotist/ tribalist stance that our Commander-in-Chief has also taken. In his maiden speech to officers at Arakan Barracks, Lt Gen Paul Mihova scoffed at several tribal accusations levelled against him whilst he was the Assistant to the most tribalist/ nepotistic Army Commander Zambia Army has ever had,Gen Isaac Chisuzi. Contrary to this, he made very tribalistic appointments and promotions within a week of denying being a nepotist. Whilst we agree that most commanders have had tribalistic tenets, Mihova’s is the most open because he even appointed tribesmen to appointments despite there being more senior officers deputising.
         A good example of such fake appointments is the appointment of a Major Gladys Chifwelu, a North Westerner, as Director of Medical Services ( An appointment of a Full Colonel) despite there being very senior Lt Cols and Majors older in service and with even better qualifications than her mere Nursing Diploma. This means she will have to be promoted twice for her to be able to run the directorate !
        Secondly, the procedure that applies when an officer goes on a 1 year course is that the appointment is filled in so as to allow others to allow efficiency in a department. The refusal, therfore, by Gen Mihova to replace a very corrupt  Lt Col Daniel Tembo as Deputy Directorate of Finance has left us in shock. Lt Col Tembo is undergoing a one year course at Staff College hence should be replaced as efficiently as another Deputy Director Lt Col Mike Shatamuka was already been replaced because he is doing the same course as Lt Col Tembo. It may not strike you immediately, but Lt Col Tembo is Mrs Mihova’s nephew and was very instrumental in coordinating the plunder of army funds with the same Gen Mihova when he was assistant to Gen Chisuzi.  Whats most annoying is that despite being Deputy Director of the Finance Department of the entire Army, Lt Col Tembo is a mere ZICA Technician whilst other officers that are being blocked possess ACCA and CIMAs. This could be attributed to the abuse of funds and lack of professionalism by the Finance Department, a very stark contrast to the way other services operate.
        There are too examples that can be given regarding Gen Mihova’s open preference of officers that hail from Northwestern Province or indeed those that have married from his household.
Gen Mihova, you are not fooling anyone but what you must realise is that tribal issues should be left to politicians etc because as an army you fight as one.
Lastly, the President ordered you that generals reaching 55years must retire but we are seeing generals with less than a year to go before their retirement being sent into 5-year diplomatic services thus maintaining the pre-PF status qou where young and vibrant officers where being blocked by these same generals that have a morbid fear of retiring. Is this the change we asked for bwana bo Commander-in-Chief ?
“Annoyed Tactician”
Army Hq Camp

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