On 28th April 2022, Zambia Reports Facebook page posted a statement claiming that the U.S. government has announced that the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) will set up a military base in Zambia. This followed a recent visit from AFRICOM Brigadier General Peter Bailey, and Deputy Director for Strategy, Engagement, and Programs, made during a meeting with President Hichilema. In the wake of online media reports surrounding the release of the statement, Party Presidents from various oppositions parties have expressed security concern over the alleged establishment of the U.S military base in Zambia.
The fact checking process has determined as misleading, the claim that the U.S. government has announced that the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) will set up a military base in Zambia. In a statement consulted by iVerify, the Minister of Defence, Hon. Ambrose Lufuma M.P. stated that contrary to the misinformation and disinformation that the U.S government is in the process of setting up a military base in Zambia through AFRICOM, aimed at threatening national security, the Minister clarified that the office being set up is an office of Security Cooperation to be based at the U.S. Embassy in Lusaka. He further reiterated that the AFRRICOM being referred to on social media platforms, is based in Germany, and at no given time has the Zambian Government agreed to moving it to Zambia. to further get clarity on the matter, iVerify obtained another statement from the United States Embassy in Zambia website. It stated that the U.S. government announced that the United States Africa Command will open an Office of Security Cooperation at the U.S. Embassy in Zambia, and not a military base as purported by online media reports. Therefore, the claim by Zambia Report that the U.S. government has announced that the United States Africa Command will set up a military base in Zambia, is misleading.