PRESIDENT Michael Sata has appealed to the Zambia Army command to seriously consider exploring the farming industry as a means of keeping its officers busy.
Mr Sata also said the Zambia Army had an enormous task of ensuring that Zambia remained peaceful.
Speaking in Kabwe yesterday during a commissioning parade of officer cadets intake 23 of the 2012 Military Training Establishment of Zambia, Mr Sata said the Command should find ways of keeping the officers busy.
"I think you should consider making these men and women busy and one way of doing so is through farming and maybe some officers should be taken to the border area with Angola so that they see what their friends are doing since we are blessed and we have no war here," Mr Sata said.
He said officers should be kept busy because an idle mind was a danger to any society.
The President said in their execution of duties, the officers should exhibit maximum discipline, professionalism and accountability to the nation and the people of Zambia.
"Let every Zambian see hope in you and hope in securing the peace and future of Zambia. As Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, I will not tolerate indiscipline.
"Behave like leaders, and one of the attributes of a good leader is to lead by good example to your subordinates," he said.
President Sata paid tribute to the men and women in uniform for having continued to maintain peace and stability in the country, thereby making Zambia a role model in Africa.
The Head of State reminded the graduands that having gone through the training, they should uphold the highest form of self-discipline, bravery, dedication to duty, stamina and above all, loyalty.
He urged them to prepare themselves for more local and external courses to improve their skills in whatever field they would be deployed.
Mr Sata was happy to note that out of the 138 officer cadets, 35 were females who trained alongside the men and commended them for their hard work.
"May I remind you officer cadets that the career you have chosen is a noble and professional one. You are all called upon to put the interests of the country and indeed those of the men under your command first before anything else.
"The nation, therefore, expects total loyalty and commitment from you to serve the interests of the Zambian people," he said.
He said the officers should remain loyal to the Government of the day and play no part in active partisan politics.
Mr Sata said the Government would continue putting in place measures to ensure the officers were motivated in their work.
Among those who attended the ceremony were Defence Minister Geoffrey Mwamba, Central Province Minister Obvious Mwaliteta and his Permanent Secretary Edwige Mutale, Kabwe Mayor Moses Mwansa, Defence chiefs and District Commissioners.
Zambia Army Commander Paul Mihova praised the Government for the financial and material support availed to the school which enabled the training programmes and exercises to be successfully conducted.
Lieutenant General Mihova said locally, the Army provided troops throughout the country to maintain peace and security while internationally, they continued to participate in the African Union peacekeeping operations.
Meanwhile, several photojournalists and cameramen were roughed up by some overzealous Zambia Army military police that blocked them from taking pictures.
Those manhandled and threatened were photojournalists from the Times of Zambia, The Post, Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation and Zambia Air Force cameramen, among others.
Only Zambia Army photographers were given vintage positions to take pictures of the event, especially when President Sata was inspecting the parade.