GENERAL CHIMESE AND HIS PATH OF DESTRUCTION
We will not be surprised if former Zambia Airforce (ZAF) commander Lieutenant General Eric Chimese is arrested and charged with more criminal offences and has his ‘Lieutenant General’ title stripped off.
General Chimese was fired not too long ago, arrested and charged with wilful giving of false information, abuse of authority of office and being in possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Since then, he has demonstrated moral, ethical, professional and physical weakness. Instead of facing his enemies like a soldier, Chimese has been squeaking like a ditched slay queen. Chimese is not the first military commander to be arrested for theft and other financial crimes in Zambia. There have been many others. For example, former Zambia Army Commander Lieutenant General Wisdom Lopa, former ZAF Commander Lt. General Andrew Sakala, and former Zambia National Service (ZNS) commandant Major General Anthony Yeta were all arrested in the recent past.In fact, others have been convicted and jailed.
But none has shown so much weakness of character as Chimese during trial. Instead of defending himself in court, like a man, if he can’t be a soldier, Chimese has decided to discredit ZAF and his successors; he has decided to break his oath of office. He is busy telling whoever cares to listen how as ZAF commander, he was procuring military equipment from Russia. Even a child knows that military movements including equipment acquisition should not be for public consumption. It only becomes of public interest if there is abuse and corruption in the process. In whose interest is Chimese telling the world that ZAF buys equipment from Russia? In case some people missed the drama, Chimese has in the past few days been recording himself and circulating audios where he is complaining about his being arrested. We can excuse him and feel sorry for him when he complains about being arrested because we have always known Chimese to be a very weak person. You just need to check this website and you will see how we told this country that Chimese was never fit to be commander of ZAF. Actually, we warned him from the very beginning that his end will be bad because the position he was holding was too big for him and that he was a thief. And he overstayed. He should have departed after three years. It therefore does not surprise us that Chimese has resorted to such cheap antics to garner public sympathy because he is a cheap soldier. The audios he is circulating are just his latest gymnastics. Chimese has been giving information and photos to foreign journalists about the procurement of equipment by ZAF but cleverly skipping his role in those deals. These foreign journalist in turn are giving such ‘news’ to Zambian tabloids. What does he hope to achieve? Does he want ZAF to go down with him? Surely Chimese’s conduct brings the name of ZAF into ridicule. We don’t know if there is anything worse than a discredited army. In his latest audio, Chimese refers to current ZAF commanders as mere lizards who can’t fly a fighter jets. That might be hilarious but very damaging to ZAF and the Zambian military at large. If Chimese was leading lizards as ZAF commander, then he is a big gumugumu himself because he is the one who trained those lizards. If the immediate ZAF commander can speak so ill of his successors and at time when Zambia is having misunderstandings with neighbouring countries, we wonder what his real intentions are. If he can say such demeaning things in public, what does he say in private and to whom? Isn’t he communicating to enemies in military language that currently, Zambia’s airforce is unable to fight? When a person like Chimese who held such a senior position in the military shows willingness to expose military secrets, is he not inviting foreign forces to contact him? Can’t Chimese sell ZAF secrets to foreign forces given his current desire to discredit ZAF?
Chimese was not just ZAF commander. He once chaired, against protocol, the Joint Military Head of Staff, which comprise all commanders of the defence forces in Zambia. So we expect such a high ranking soldier to face the law with dignity and respect for the defence forces. He must realise that ZAF can not end with him. If Chimese can shut up and keep his personal problems to himself, some needs to rise and protect the image of ZAF from this childish man. And typical of his childish behaviour, after circulating the audios, he turns round saying ‘it wasn’t me’.
We know he has not yet recovered from his abrupt dismissal. He did not prepare for his retirement as he thought the party will continue. But that is no excuse for putting the whole country in danger by exposing the country’s military weaknesses or where the country procures its guns.
Let Chimese campaign for his Luapula United project in a decent manner without harming the entire country.