Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda told Hot FM that First Lady Esther’s trip was partially sponsored by the people who donated the four fire trucks to the Esther Lungu Foundation Trust.
He said the fire trucks would be subsequently handed over to government as the Esther Lungu Foundation had no use for them.
Chanda stressed that government would only foot part of the travel expenses.
Last week, News Diggers revealed that First Lady Esther would this week lead a 25-member delegation on a two weeks visit to the United States of America where they are all going to receive four fire trucks.
According to records obtained from State House, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs processed American Visas for 25 travellers, among them a bedroom attendant, cook, cleaner, waiter, about seven police officers, four journalists, three secretaries, two fire brigade officers, a communications officer and accountant.
This is despite the austerity measures that government, through the Minister of Finance, announced last year under which Cabinet office made a directive that non mandatory trips would never be approved.