The president of Zambia Hakainde Hichilema has sacked the country’s army and police chiefs.
He has made new appointments to the top roles as part of efforts to reform the security forces.
There are now new commanders for the Zambian army, the air force and the national service and their deputies, as well as a new inspector general of police.
The latest replacements of top commanders of the security agencies took place late on Sunday.
Local media reported that all regional police commissioners have also been replaced as part of the reforms.
Lt. General Collins Barry is the new ZAF Commander and will be deputised by Major General Oscar Nyoni as Deputy Air Commander. Lt. General Patrick Solochi is the new ZNS Commandant and will be deputised by Major General Reuben Mwewa as Deputy Commandant.
— Hakainde Hichilema (@HHichilema) August 29, 2021
President Hichilema said the new appointed officers “must have the interest of the people at heart and serve the country diligently while ensuring human rights, freedoms and liberties are respected”.
According to him “no one should be arrested before investigations are concluded” as he demands that police force carries out proper checks before detaining suspects.
Mr Hichilema himself has suffered such arbitrary arrests and detentions in the past, a situation he promised to deal with when voted into power.
President Hakainde Hichilema took over as Zambia’s new president after winning a historic election by defeating incumbent Edgar Lungu this month.
It was his sixth bid for the presidency and his 2021 victory with almost one million votes more than his rival signalled a landslide victory.
Hichilema has already vowed to do things differently and attract investors to build the economy.