Lusaka, Zambia (PANA) – Zambian President Rupiah Banda has urged the Zambia Air Force (ZAF) officers to guard against contracting HIV/AIDS, observing that HIV and AIDS had negatively affected the fitness of military personnel, hence the need to maintain a high level of moral discipline.
“I wish to warn you about the dangers of HIV/AIDS, which poses a serious threat to the effectiveness of our defence force. As a defence force, we have lost a number of skilled manpower to this scourge. I, therefore, wish to advise you, our young men and women graduating today, to treat HIV/AIDS as your number one enemy,” President Banda told newly-graduated ZAF officers Friday in Livingstone, Zambia’s tourist capital.
According to a statement issued by the President's special assistant for press and public relations, Dickson Jere, Banda said the military career required officers to be fit at all times, and that they could only remain so if they looked after themselves well and displayed good moral standards befitting a well disciplined body of men and women in uniform.
“Do not relax or take peace for granted; be alert and on guard at all times. You must always approach your duty with professionalism and decorum. Peace is a catalyst to economic development and it must always be upheld. Remain non-partisan and serve with loyalty, commitment and without fear,” President Banda, who is also Commander-In-Chief of the Zambian armed forces, said at the commissioning parade of the graduating ZAF officers.
Banda also challenged female graduates to rise to the challenges of military life by aspiring for promotion like their male counterparts.
-0- PANA MM/BOS 15July2011