Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa removed on Friday the Zambia Air Force (ZAF) commander Christopher Singogo and replaced him with his deputy Samuel Mapala, just a month ahead of the general elections due on Sept. 28.
The president, however, did not clarify why the air force chief was dropped.
"I have made changes in the Air Force. I have removed Lieutenant General Singogo and I have appointed Lieutenant General Mapala, who has been acting deputy Air Commander to be Air Commander," Mwanawasa said in a swearing ceremony in the State House without elaborating.
Meanwhile, Brigadier General Evans Chengeta was appointed to take over from Mapala as deputy Air Commander.
President Mwanawasa urged the defense forces to jealously guard the security of the country, noting that the defense services were crucial for the protection of Zambia's integrity as a sovereign country in both internal and external issues.