ZAMBIA Army Commander Paul Mihova has pledged continued good relations between Zambia and Malawi Defence Forces.

Lieutenant General Mihova said this in Lusaka yesterday at his office when visiting Malawi Defence Force Commander Henry Odillo paid a courtesy call on him.

Gen Mihova said the cooperation between the two countries dated back to pre-independence period and transcended political, economic and social dimensions.

He said politically, the two countries shared a colonial past as far back as 1800s when Britain controlled the political, economic and social affairs of the two nations.

He said from 1953 to 1963, the two countries belonged to the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland and that both nations contributed immensely to the breakup of the federation so that their people could be free to determine their destiny.

Gen Mihova said militarily, the two countries formed part of the Kings Africa Rifles as was evidenced by the sharing of the forces from the Kings Africa Rifles to form both countries’ First battalions.

He commended the visiting general and the Malawi Defence Force in particular for smooth transition of power following the death of President Bingu Wa Mutharika early this year.

He said this showed that democratic principles were embedded in the people of Malawi and the Defence Force commitment and respect for the country’s Constitution.

In response, General Odillio said men and women in uniform had the responsibility to support political leaders so that peace and stability was maintained to enhance democracy.

Gen Odillio who is on a week long visit to Zambia, said military leaders should be the first ones to show leadership in terms of ensuring that politics was left to the politicians.

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