Zambia: A woman is the new Inspector-General of Police

President Sata talks to new Inpector
General of Police Stella Libongan.
(Photo: Thomas Nsama/State House)

Women for Change (WfC, focal point of Social Watch) and the Non Governmental Organizations Coordinating Committee (NGOCC) hailed the appointment of Ms Stellah Libongani as Inspector-General of Police.

WfC executive director Emily Sikazwe described the decision as exciting, but added that more of such appointments would help the country to attain the international protocols on equity between men and women in decision making.

"It is vital to women to get recogniszd in Zambia, which is signatory to international protocols championing equal opportunities for men and women. I congratulated her just after her appointment. WfC shall even help her to train police officers on human rights," Sikazwe said.

Zambian President Michael Sata announced on Tuesday the appointment of Libongani, the first female Inspector-General of Police since the independence.

"We are excited, extremely excited about this appointment. We hope that the President will continue appointing more women on decision making positions," agreed NGOCC board chairperson Beatrice Grillo.

The Committee is confident that Ms Libongani will perform to the expectations of the nation, Grillo said.

"We have interacted with her […] and we have no doubt that she is going to bring a lot of sanity in the police service," she explained.

"I advise all officers to rally behind and give support to the new inspector general of Police whose appointment has been welcomed wholeheartedly, more especially that she is the first female Inspector-General of Police. Furthermore, all departments under the Ministry of Home Affairs are implored to give necessary support to the new police command," said Home Affairs Minister Kennedy Sakeni.

Libongani took over from Dr Martin Malama, who has been deployed in the foreign service.

She is 39 years old, making her also the youngest Inspector General ever on record, as President Sata continues his anti-graft fight that has won him kudos locally and abroad.

Libongani joined the police service as a cadet assistant superintendent. In 1998, she was deployed to Kitwe East police station as officer-in-charge.

In 14 years of service, Libongani has risen through the ranks, being commanding officer for central division headquarters. Until her appointment as Inspector-General, she was Malama’s deputy.

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