The community attacked several of the Zambian Army’s personnel when they were performing a survey of Army property in Chongwe last Tuesday, and the army has denounced the action.
Community people attacked the Army personnel after accusing them of engaging in illegal land operations.
However, the property in question belongs to the Zambian Army, is located at Mango Barracks, and has legal title.
Colonel Martin Liyungu, a spokesman for the Zambian Army, initially expressed sorrow about the attack on the officers but afterwards praised them for undergoing retraining without resorting to violence.
“We wish to clarify that the land in question is the Zambia Army land on title, situated in Mikango Barracks where the Army surveyor went to survey the Tank Driving Circuit used by Zambia Army for training armoured tank drivers. The Driving Circuit was being surveyed so that it is well marked and established for training. We, therefore, condemn the grabbing and damaging of government property, and the assault on the Officers on duty by members of the community.We further commend the Officers for restraining themselves from retaliating and avoiding using force, even when they had the capacity to do so,” he said.
He has further advised members of the public not to confront armed soldiers ,but always report any misunderstandings or disorderly conduct to Army Headquarters in Lusaka, or nearby Units.
“Such misunderstandings can also be reported through Zambia Police Service.We wish to take this opportunity to inform the public that the matter has been reported to Zambia Police Service and it is currently under investigation.
The Zambia Army exists to serve and protect the people of Zambia, and it would, in no way, want to be in conflict with the people it has sworn to serve. But this does not mean that the Army will tolerate any disorderly and unruly conduct by the public it is serving,” he said.