The Zambia government is preparing to buy arms from Brazil and stock them in barracks.
But previous government refused to buy arms because the country is not at war and preferred to channel the money to needy areas such as health and education.
Defence Deputy Minister, Davies Mwila, who is in Brazil has revealed that his government has embarked on a programme to modernise the three defence services which will see the acquisition of technologically advanced equipment.
Mwila said under the programme, Government will upgrade equipment ranging from radar and communication systems to transport and various other types of military equipment.
He was speaking on Friday after the close of the 9th LAAD Defence and Security exhibition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Zambia government recently acquired $750 million loan through a bond to fund developmental projects.
The minister did not say how much will be spent and where the money will also be acquired through another Eurobond.
“As a Ministry, we have taken up a programme to modernise the three services which are the Zambia Army, Zambia Air Force and the Zambia National Service. We are doing this because we realised that there was urgent need to do that,” Mr. Mwila said.
The deputy minister justified the intention to acquire arms on the fact that other countries were also buying.
“As you know, we are not alone in this world and I am sure you saw that our friends from South Africa, Angola, Namibia and Senegal plus many others from all over the world were also there. We realise that we have to move with the times and we are committed to doing that,” Mr. Mwila said.
He said: “in that we found most of what we are looking for. From here we are going to present a report to the Minister and it will just be a matter of priority to decide what to get from here. ”
He was accompanied by Zambia’s Ambassador to Brazil, Cynthia Jangulo, Zambia Army Deputy Secretary Colonel Allan Mwansabamba, Zambia Air Force Deputy Secretary Colonel Rodwell Chimbini, Zambia National Service Deputy Secretary, Shame Chabala and Zambia’s Defence Attaché in Brazil, Colonel Owen Musopelo.
The exhibition was attended by more than 700 manufacturers of military equipment from world over.
The LAAD Defence & Security exhibition brings together international companies specialized in supplying equipment, services and technology to the Armed Forces, Police and Special Forces, Security Services, consultants and government agencies.
It presents an opportunity to meet authorities in defence and public security from countries in the Americas, as well as other continents.
This year’s event, which ran from 8– 12 April, 2013, brought together security authorities as well as security managers in utilities and large corporations who specialise in security equipment and service specification and procurement from Brazil, other Latin American and countries from other continents.