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ZAF explains airspace restrictions

Filed under: Breaking News,Politics |
Gen Chimase

Gen Chimase

Zambia Air Force (ZAF) Commander Lt General Eric Chimese says all political parties will be allowed to use air transport during campaigns without discrimination for as long as their travel plans do not collide with President Edgar Lungu’s campaign schedule.


UPND Secretary General Stephen Katuka last week disclosed that ZAF had not cleared the 10 campaign Helicopters for the opposition party.


“It is becoming increasingly clear that our campaigns are being suffocated by various government wings. In addition to ZNBC having refused to air our paid for political adverts, now the Zambia Air Force has not granted permission for our campaign helicopters to be active on 16th May 2016, despite us having applied well in advance and being in full compliance with all civil aviation requirements,” said Katuka.


But Gen Eric Chimese said a lot needed to be taken into consideration to safeguard security.


“It is a very complicated process because we have to factor in the incumbent President and other politicians who are also campaigning, we don’t want even the opposition to collide where one helicopter lands in the same area another politician is campaigning and bring confusion which can put people’s lives at risk. So while I appreciate that everyone wants that, you have to remember that the President is the Commander-in-Chief and the President will be priority number one. What we don’t want at the end of the day is to come and say ‘Air Force gave us permission, how come today you are telling us not to do this?’ We don’t want that to happen, we want to be very careful with security issues and all that,”  Gen Chimese has said.


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