UPND national youth chairperson Likando Mufalali says the Ministry of Defence should be transparent in selecting recruits during the ongoing defence recruitment.

And Mufalali says overwhelming numbers of youths applying for this recruitment is a sign of the PF government’s failure to provide much-needed jobs promised to citizens.

In an interview, Mufalali charged that the PF would likely mount pressure on the Ministry of Defence to make it select its own members who were not qualified or suitable for the positions.

“As regards to whether the process will be open or transparent, I think it’s an issue that needs to be scrutinised. Given the corruption that we have seen in the PF government, we see them putting pressure on the military to pick their people who don’t even meet the requirements. So, the pressure that they will mount on these three defense wings will be unprecedented because they want to push their own people. We are dealing with people that have no shame in what they are doing. So, the whole recruitment is for the benefit of the PF,” Mufalali argued.

And he observed that the huge numbers of youths applying for the Defence recruitment was a glaring indication of the PF government’s failure to provide jobs.

“The PF government has failed to create the 500,000 jobs that they had promised. And ahead of us is an election year, and already, we have a budget deficit. And based on that, I wouldn’t have recommended for this recruitment when we are going through difficult times like these. And because of the election year ahead, this recruitment is highly questionable. And some of us are receiving it with a pinch of salt. We are skeptical in the way the recruitment will take place. This is actually putting pressure on the Defense Ministry because there are thousands and thousands of young people that are looking for jobs in the defense force. There will be too much pressure for them to handle!” said Mufalali.

“This is a serious indictment on the PF government because they have failed to create the jobs that they promised people. The pronouncements have been made several times from their first term of office. We have so many graduates from the University of Zambia that want to find themselves in the Defence force. And it’s very unfortunate that we want to put pressure on these few departments under this Ministry because they won’t manage to pick everyone.”

Defence Minister Davies Chama, however, promised that the ongoing military recruitment exercise will be above board and based on merit.