Zambia: Newly Elected President Hichilema Sacks Military, Police Chiefs

A supporter of new Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema (file photo).
30 August 2021

Cape Town — Newly elected President Hakainde Hichilema fired Zambia Police Service Inspector General Kakoma Kanganja and all service chiefs and their deputies barely a week after his inauguration.

Yesterday Hichilema announced the appointment of new army and airforce chiefs, as well as a new head of the southern African country's defence wing.

"I am relieving all commissioners of police with immediate effect," he said, without providing reasons for the replacements, In a televised address to the nation.

Also removed are all provincial police commissioners, after which Hichilema hinted at impending reforms and a reorganisation of the Zambia Police Service Command structure, with some officers expected to be retained.

"This evening we made some changes in the Defence and Security Wings of our nation. Lt. General Dennis Alibuzwi is the New Zambia Army Commander and will be deputised by Major General Geoffrey Zyeele, as Deputy Army Commander and Chief of Staff. General Collins Barry is the new Zambian Air Force Commander and will be deputised by Major General Oscar Nyoni as Deputy Air Commander. Lt. General Patrick Solochi is the new Zambia National Service Commandant and will be deputised by Major General Reuben Mwewa as Deputy Commandant. Mr Remmy Kajoba is the new Inspector General of Police and his deputy for operations is Mr Milner Muyambango, while Doris Chibombe is Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Administration, Hichilema said.

Hichilema, 59, took office on August 24, 2021, after his landslide victory against incumbent Edgar Lungu. He won with over 60% of the vote and is seen as the electorate's reaction to the incumbent's economic mismanagement and the authoritarian leadership in the southern African country.

Speaking shortly after Lungu conceded defeat, Hichilema slammed the outgoing "brutal regime".

Recalling that he'd been arrested 15 times, Hichilema said there would be no retribution against those who arrested political rivals.

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