…stop the dangerous Koswe games; you’re President now
A few weeks ago, I guided Mr Hakainde Hichilema through an article headlined: “Confusion Reigns At The Defence Forces”. And below is the article:
Secretary to the Cabinet Mr Patrick Kangwa has appointed Mr Friday Nyambe, the Director General Office of the President Special Division, as chairman of the Central Joint Operations Committee (CJOC) with immediate effect.
The Duties of the President and Commander-in-Chief are never shared or delegated, not even to the Vice-President. It is only the President who has authority over matters of deployment of the Defence Forces and their officers. CJOC was a creation of the Zambia Army and Zambia Police. Never in the history of Zambia, or any other defence force in world, has this happened.
The CJOC in Zambia consists of the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman, the Secretary, and members from other government agencies with work related to fields of border protection and inland security.
The collective body of the CJOC is headed by the Chairman (or Vice-Chairman in the Chairman’s absence), who sets the agenda and presides over meetings.
Responsibilities for members of the CJOC are to take precedence over tasks of national security as a team. The Chairman of the CJOC is the Army Commander, the principal military adviser to the President, Ministry of Defence, and the Defence Council. However, all CJOC members are by law military advisers, and they may respond to a request or voluntarily submit, through the Chairman, advice or opinions to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces.
The executive authority of the CJOC in Zambia has never changed. It is as designed the world over. In World War II, the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff acted as executive agents dealing with area commanders, but the original National Security Act of 1947 saw the Joint Chiefs of Staff as planners and advisers, not as commanders of combatant commands. In spite of this, the 1948 Key West Agreement allowed members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to serve as executive agents for unified commands, a responsibility that allowed the executive agent to originate direct communication with the combatant command. Congress abolished this authority in a 1953 amendment to the National Security Act.
Today, the Joint Chiefs of Staff have no executive authority to command combatant forces. The issue of executive authority was clearly resolved by the Goldwater-Nichols DOD Reorganisation Act of 1986: “The Secretaries of the Military Departments shall assign all forces under their jurisdiction to unified and specified combatant commands to perform missions assigned to those commands.” The chain of command runs through the President to the commander of the combatant command.
In Zambia, the security system has a solid foundation dating as far back as the first and second Republics. Dr Kenneth Kaunda laid a very strong foundation, which has proved extremely effective in the absence of a unified command.
It is important to mention here, or educate Mr Hakainde Hichilema and his team, that powers vested in the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces are for the President only. Mr Hakainde Hichilema should learn to consult from the elders before attempting to change traditions that have kept the Zambian nation together. National security instruments of power are never shared anywhere in the world. The Minister of Defence, the Minister of Home Affairs, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence and Secretary to the Cabinet, have no power to issue orders or instructions to the Defence Forces. When this happens, it marks the beginning of a downfall and break down of systems.
Disorganising the Zambia Defence Forces is a very serious weakness on the part of the Presidency. We advise Mr Hichilema to put his house in order and not to allow any person to abuse or take over his responsibility as Commander-in- Chief.
On July 26, 2023, Defence Minister Ambrose Lufuma said government had shifted the Chairmanship of the Central Joint Operations Committee which was headed by the Army Commander to another security wing. Mr Lufuma said the change in Chairmanship was because the country is faced with mild security challenges, which are mainly internal and can be best discharged by another security wing.
He said this is until the security dynamics change.
Mr Lufuma said the government had appointed Director General Special Division Friday Nyambe as Chairperson of the Central Joint Operations Committee and Lieutenant General Sitali Alibuzwi as Vice Chairperson for administrative convenience. And Mr LUFUMA said it is unfortunate that there was a leakage of the letter which was written to all concerned by the Secretary to the Cabinet. He however said those found behind the leakage of the letter will be dealt with by the law, as it violates the law of communication of certain information and protection of classified information. https://www.znbc.co.zm/news/changes-made-to-the-cjoc-chairmanship/
On July 28, 2023, former defence minister, Davies Chama joined the discourse saying that the change in chairmanship for the defence Central Joint Operations Committee (CJOC) is unnecessary and only raises suspicion. https://diggers.news/local/2023/07/28/change-of-chairmanship-for-cjoc-suspicious-chama/
On July 29, 2023, PF presidential aspirant, Mr Emmanuel Mwamba chipped in with an article headlined: “President Hichilema and the Rogue Media at State House”. Find below Mr. Mwamba’s article in full:
Koswe, a known rogue media run by State House media team, has run dangerous and defamatory articles against the Zambia Army Commander, Lieutenant General Dennis Sitali Alibuzwi and Socialist Party President, Dr Fred M’membe, literally accusing them of treason and conspiracy.
Later, the Army Commander has been relegated to the position of Vice Chairperson of the Central Joint Operations Committee (CJOC), a highly irregular move.
Minister of Defence, Ambrose Lufuma said the Chairmanship of the CJOC has since been taken by Director General of the Zambia Security and Intelligence Services, Mr Friday Nyambe.
It is irrefutable that Koswe is run by State House and this has been publicly asserted by many, including those close to the team. The question is why does President Hakainde Hichilema allow this?
The rogue media defames, insults, abuses, and destroys lives of his own officials, relentlessly engaging in character assassination of members of the Opposition and citizens, and this is done without remedial or recourse to the law.
Koswe instigates dismissals, prevents employment of successful candidates, incites arrests and encourages hate speech against Citizens.
Reporting Koswe to authorities is useless as both Police or ZICTA can never act against a State House entity.
No one has been spared from the character assasinations, lies and defamatory attacks including President Hichilema’s own Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and especially members of the Opposition.
When the online paper attacked and ran defamatory and dangerous allegations against State House Permanent Secretary Oliver Kalabo in December 2021, it had to take his own spouse and long-time senior member of the UPND media team, Jacqueline Saidi Chishimba to go to her Facebook page and call out and name the Koswe editors for them to stop the rot on her husband.
A few weeks ago, the rogue paper ran articles against Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary, Chembo Mbula and it didn’t take long, he was quickly transferred!
That has been the case of many silent victims.
It is now clear that President Hichilema allows and feeds Koswe, using it and unleashing it as an attack and rabid dog against harpless Citizens.
President Hichilema is now the Republican President and he cannot allow the abuse of the law, and the abuse of citizens. It could have been excusable when he was in Opposition to run guerrilla journalism but he is now President, sworn to defend the Constitution and sworn to defend the rights of all citizens.
Mr President, Koswe, a monster you have been feeding, is now NOT even afraid to toy with Zambia’s national peace and security. How do you allow the attacks on your own Army Commander and the subsequent changes you have since made? https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=emmanuel%20mwamba
Above is the sequence of events of who said what and when. But throughout this period, Koswe, the discredited UPND guerilla channel, which is housed at State House, had been on the offensive splashing all manner of defamatory, seditious and inciting articles against persons like myself, including Mr Hichilema’s own appointed Army Commander, Lieutenant General Dennis Sitali Alibuzwi without remedial or recourse to the law.
However today, after all the lawlessness and highly seditious activities committed by the State House media team via the discredited Koswe, I have been reliably informed that Mr Hichilema has directed that I should be arrested and charged with serious charges under the State Security Act. The plan is to abuse law enforcement agencies and prescribe false charges against me so that I can be grounded politically for merely exercising my right to freedom of speech like everybody else who spoke on this matter.
But this won’t work, this country has got laws that are decent enough to shield us from jungle and tyrannical tendencies Mr Hichilema and his far- right UPND government are shamelessly exhibiting. If people are sensible, responsible and objective, they will realise that I have not committed any offence. In fact, if there is anyone deserving to be charged and arrested for various serious offenses, its Mr Hichilema’s media team at State House because they carelessly turned a noble discourse of public interest into a state security matter.
Clearly, the indiscipline and unrestrained manner Mr Hichilema’s media team are going about in spreading hate speech, character assassination, lies and seditious attacks on the leaders and citizens of this country is most unfortunate and very dangerous. And one day, both Mr Hichilema and his attack dogs will regret ever taking such a highly polarising and dangerous path. They may abuse ZICTA, the police and other law enforcement agencies today but they should not forget that power is transitory and the Zambian people are not stupid, they know what is happening, and who is behind all this. And at the right time, decisions will be made based on the knowledge they kept close to their chests all this while because this is not the way to govern a country.
Mr Hichilema must show leadership and stop the highly reckless and dangerous Koswe and dog games. If it worked in opposition, it can no longer work anymore because that project has passed its shelf life – its discredited and its discrediting his presidency too. But we are ready for them, we didn’t sign up to fail in our quest to protect our country’s mineral resources and national wealth from the jaws of transnational corporations and imperialist puppets. Let them know that whatever we do, we do it for our people and we are ready to pay the price!
President of the Socialist Party