This was exposed when defence minister Geoffrey Mwamba toured various defence units among them Kalewa Barracks, One Commando Unit and Third Infantry Brigade to familiarize himself with defence operations.
The Commandos have resorted to constructing some housing structures within the barrack using their hard earned resources which are later abandoned when promoted or transferred without getting reimbursement for the money spent to buy construction material and labour.
Division commander Brigadier Edgar Somase said for a long time now soldiers under the unit have been struggling to get decent accommodation and this is a serious issue that needs to be addressed.
“We have accommodation challenge here. If an officer is transferred to another level or he is retired, what happens to this structure which he constructed using his resources. So, there has been an outcry that there must be means of compensation or at the end of it all, the government should come up with a policy to take over this structure and compensate the owner so it can belong to the infantry,” he said.
Mwamba promised to modernize the defence force. He said he is aware of the challenges like inadequate accommodation, transport shortages and delayed payment of allowances.
“May I also commend the service for the role they have always played in mitigating the effect of disasters. The Zambia Army in collaboration with the Zambia National Service and the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit has always done a commendable job in opening up drainages in areas that are affected by floods especially in Lusaka. I want to assure you, each one of you will have two pairs of uniform every year and we will make sure that this is done,” Mwamba said.