By NATION REPORTER
GOVERNMENT should not entertain the opening of the AFRICOM Office of Security Cooperation at the U.S. Embassy in Zambia, former defence minister George Mpombo has said.
Mr Mpombo said that past republican presidents had been skeptical in allowing very close military interaction between Zambia and the US.
He said the issue was a hot potato when he was defence minister as they looked at the security ramifications.
Mr Mpombo said allowing of the AFRICOM office was an indication that the country was slowly losing its sovereignty to the Western countries.
“Zambia needs to maintain its non-aligned stance and that setting up of the AFRICOM office would have negative impact,” he said.
He said there was need to carry out wide consultation because this was a serious issue which should not be done in haste.
Meanwhile the US Embassy in Zambia has clarified that the AFRICOM offices were based in Germany and did not plan on moving to any other country. The embassy clarified that there was no plan of establishing a US base in Zambia but that an office would be created to work hand in hand with the Zambia defence force to enhance military to military relations and expand areas of cooperation in force management, modernization and professional military education for the Zambian security forces.