A former director general of the Zambian Intelligence has warned that the purging of NorthWesterners, Lozis and Bantu Botatwe from the defence and security forces has created tension in the military and that this could lead to a civil war.
The former boss of the OP has further warned that the officers who have been purged from the defence and security wings can easily be mobilised into a rebel army.
President Edgar Lungu’s government is currently undertaking a systematic removal of Northwestern, Lozi and Bantu Botatwe officers and civil servants from the military and civil service. Officers from some parts of Lusaka and Copperbelt are also been removed and replaced by people from Eastern province.
The highest ranking officer who has been fired so far due to his tribe is former Zambia Army Deputy Commander General Topson Lubaya, a Tonga. He was replaced by a Major Gen. Jackson Miti just after elections last year.
But the former intelligence boss said that Lungu is playing a very dangerous game which he may soon fail to handle.
‘We are not talking about civil servants here young man. These are highly trained soldiers you are victimising. Remember these guys are trained to fight and nothing else. They know all the military installations in the country. So what do you think they will do when you remove them from their guns without any justiciable reason,’ the former OP boss said.
The former OP boss further said that there is clearly tension in the army because those officers from the afore said regions who have not yet been fired have noticed what is happening and could act to defend themselves.
The former intelligence official advised Lungu to play with other things but not the military saying ‘not all soldiers from Eastern province support PF.’
The former OP boss explained that even putting soldiers from Eastern province in barracks in ‘hostile’ provinces is unworkable because these do not even speak the local languages and can easily be rounded up in case of an uprising from ‘local’ soldiers.