President Edgar Lungu, who is also Defence Minister has continued imposing mandatory 50 percent deductions for all military and security personnel going for peacekeeping missions abroad.
During campaigns, UPND President Hakainde Hichilema had promised that the soldiers going for peacekeeping missions will be getting all the allowances paid to them by the United Nations, and Lungu had equally said he would look into the issue.
But last week, the Zambian Military contingent going for peacekeeping mission were told the Zambian government would deduct 50 percent from each of the soldiers on their allowances paid by the UN.
The soldiers were told that even the 50 percent was just a bonus as Lungu was not even obliged to pay them any allowances paid by the UN to the soldiers because it was their duty.
“Can you imagine? We were just told we could take it or leave it as the Zambian government was actually doing them a favour by giving them the allowances. Our bosses came to address us at the Barack and the meeting ended in a stalemate over the allowances issue. Morale is very low among the soldiers over many other issues such as delayed salaries these days and now this issue of ‘stealing’ their money has continued. The soldiers murmured that the UPND had promised to give them everything and hence the overwhelming support they enjoyed in the barracks,” said some soldiers who sought anonymity.