A better deal for our nation’s protectors
Today I specifically want to address the plight of our gallant men and women in uniform which includes our Zambia Army, Zambia Air Force (ZAF), Zambia National Service (ZNS), Zambia Police (ZP) and of course our security service intelligence agency.
As UPND we greatly appreciate their role in keeping the peace and unity the nation has enjoyed for 50 years now.
By remaining resolute in upholding the democratic values of this country they have shaped the destiny of Zambia.
As such, I have been saddened to hear of the number of challenges that our security personnel face in both their operations and welfare provision. Such challenges must be tackled head on by government who has an obligation to support them.
The biggest challenge for many has been the removal of food rations at a time when the price of mealie meal and essential commodities have more than doubled and even tripled.
The UPND will take bold steps to alleviate hunger in the security camps. We are confident that through our policies to better manage the economy and proper investment in agriculture we will also be able to secure greater reductions in the food price in the medium to long term.
We have heard how many have struggled with housing issues, with some proposing the government set up a housing scheme whereby houses are provided to service personnel and they pay for the cost over a period out of their wages. Such proposals are entirely reasonable and deserve serious consideration.
It is important for us to stress our commitment to upholding professionalism in appointments and promotions. Candidates should be selected based on skills and education at every level, and never on the basis of political connections.
Furthermore we would like to state our commitment to providing our men and women in uniform with further education and skills training so they are well equipped and supported to perform their duties.
Finally, we shall further endeavour to offer decent retirement packages for those who reach their level of service.