It has been found out that some of the Brigadier Generals and Colonels that were publicly fired by the head of state were actually medical staff required for the operations of military hospitals in the country. A look round army medical facilities has found them working with no consultants and medical staff who were retained after retirement to continue providing their rare services. Due to the low pay and other bad conditions of service, it is hard to retain medical staff in the military establishment. The president must desist from such actions and attract qualified professionals to the service.
On 25 October, Michael Sata ordered the dismissal of 13 Brigadier Generals and 16 Colonels whom he said were illegally contracted by his predecessor Rupiah Banda.
“What are you afraid of? Why allow 13 Brigadier Generals and 16 Colonels occupying offices illegally? You are giving them money which should have gone to the police, which should have gone to strengthen the establishment of the police. If you look here at these policemen probably you don’t understand some of them don’t even have badges of ranks,” President Sata said.
“I am directing Secretary to the Cabinet Dr Joshua Kanganja you and the Minster of Defence that all these people should leave offices now but pay them up to the end of December because they are in offices illegally. I don’t have the power to give a contract, I only have the power to give you a contract within the law.”
“The Defence Act does not permit me, the Pension Act does not permit me. How do you as Secretary to the Cabinet go and draft a Statutory Instrument and give it to somebody to sign it. Your so-called permanent secretary in the Ministry of Defence and you say here the president has signed a Statutory Instrument,” he said.
“You are cheating the people in uniform. If you want to make them retire at 60 or 65, bring the law and amend the law. Once you amend the law the law will protect them not you. They are not supposed to survive depending on who is in office. Let the law protect them, ” said Sata