UNDERNEATH the vast Zambian sky, a special moment unfolded at the Zambia Air Force (ZAF) Headquarters Base as Lieutenant General Colin Barry said goodbye this morning.
Lt General Barry was last month dismissed from his position by President Hakainde Hichilema.
But as the shy sun on a chilly day made everything look a bit golden this morning, a parade filled with navy blue colours marked the end of Lt General Collin Barry’s time at the helm of Zambia Airforce who bid farewell to the Service.
Like carefully planned dances, officers marched and saluted in sync during a parade as Lt General Barry got some farewell gifts, making the whole thing more personal and friendly.
“Serving the Zambia Air Force and people of Zambia was a great privilege. Thank you Mr President sir, and may God bless your leadership,” he said.
His speech had a mix of feelings, though with a straight face, one could easily spot how hard it was to say goodbye to something that meant a lot to him.
As he talked about his time leading the Air Force, memories of important moments popped up, like when they went to Mozambique. It was like he was telling stories that everyone there could remember.
“I stand before you today with mixed emotions, I say goodbye today to an institution that I love so much and to the Air force family, indeed it has been an incredible thirty years filled with incredible stories of challenges and triumphs,” he said.
He advised the ZAF commander, Lt General Oscar Nyoni, and officers to be professional and dedicated to duty.
“To my successor, you inherit a force of incredible men and women. Lead with humanity, inspire with vision, and uphold the values that make the Zambia Air Force a symbol of pride for our nation.”
“Having worked closely with you for so long, I have no doubt that the ZAF will be able to achieve great and amazing things under your leadership. And I remain available for any advise,” added Lt General Barry.
ZAF Commander, Nyoni, thanked Lt Gen Barry for his service, “we are grateful as his (Lt Gen Barry) works have been pivotal in shaping the service of the Force. I wish you sir God’s continued blessings in your future endeavors,” said Lt General Nyoni.
Meanwhile, Lt General Nyoni affirmed his commitment to ensuring that deliberate policy programmes are in place to ensure diversity at recruitment selection, promotion, and deployment and appointment in the Zambia Air Force.
He said the whole recruitment process will be done while ensuring that personnel are shaped and prepared for war as its core business, among other government and people service agenda.
After the parade, the former ZAF commander was airlifted by the plane while officers paid homage with their hats at the hail and farewell ceremony.
Pictures and story by Buumba Mwitumwa
Kalemba January 4, 2023