Zambia’s new President Hakainde Hichilema has replaced the country’s top military commanders and the head of the police – and signalled a focus on the security forces being more accountable to the citizens.
The president late on Sunday announced new commanders of the Zambian army, the air force and the national service and their deputies, as well as a new inspector general of police.
All regional police commissioners have been relieved of their duties but their replacements have not been named.
Mr Hichilema said the new office bearers “must have the interest of the people at heart and serve the country diligently while ensuring human rights, freedoms and liberties are respected,” he said.
He said the police must carry out proper checks before detaining suspects and that “no one should be arrested before investigations are concluded”.
Mr Hakainde, who was voted in as president earlier this month in a landslide victory, has been the victim of police brutality in the past.
He has been arrested and detained multiple times in the past – and had promised to deal with the heavy-handedness of the security forces.