After promising to end the previous regime’s heavy-handedness, Zambia’s newly-elected President Hakainde Hichilema on Sunday appointed new military chiefs and replaced all police commissioners.

Right groups accused Hichilema’s predecessor Edgar Lungu of leading a “brutal crackdown” on dissent, with police violence claiming at least five lives since he was officially elected in 2016.

Indeed, in a televised address to the nation on Sunday, the new leader announced the appointment of new army and airforce chiefs, as well as a new head of the country’s defence wing without providing reasons for the replacements.

“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”,he Twittered on Sunday evening.

Hakainde Hichilema , 59, took office since 24 August 2021. He has contested five previous elections in 2006, 2008, 2011, 2015 and 2016, before winning in this year’s presidential election with over 59% of the vote.

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