THE Zambia Civil Aviation Authority says it has not received any application from the UPND or denied any request.
On Monday, UPND spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa alleged that Hakainde Hichilema was stranded in Mkushi because CAA and the Zambia Airforce canceled his permit to fly to Mansa.
But responding to a press query, CAA Public Relations Manager Sepiso Zimba said there were no circumstances that CAA restricted any person from flying.
She added that the Civil Aviation Authority was a professional institution that did not involve itself in partisan politics.
“The CAA is a professional institution that does not involve itself in partisan politics. As mentioned in our earlier statement which was issued on 14th July 2021, kindly note that the Zambia Civil Aviation Authority has not received any application from the UPND or denied any of them from flying. Since it is alleged that the CAA sent the UPND a notice, we request that the News Diggers obtain the proof of the notice as alleged. There are no circumstances that the CAA restricts a person from flying. There are no circumstances whatsoever that the CAA restricts any person from travelling,” stated Zimba.
Speaking when he featured on a Radio Phoenix programme, Monday, Mweetwa claimed that it was not the first time that CAA and ZAF stopped Hichilema from flying.
“This is not the first time that this aviation authority is doing this, this is not the first time that ZAF is doing this. For how long shall we plead and urge them to be professional and not partisan and do what is right? We have given up on pleading with them. We are now pleading with the people of Zambia, the voters, that come August 2021, the people of Zambia through the ballot now need to give a permit to HH to fly the skies of Zambia because he is Zambian. Right now, the campaign is not going according to the plan because as we speak today, HH was supposed to be at the airport from Chitambo into Mansa and visit all other places. We strategize and within the next three days, we should be able to visit all the major points across the region,” Mweetwa said.
“We received a notice from the Zambia Civil Aviation Authority and the Zambia Air Force that they are not going to allow HH this morning to fly. So as we speak, HH is stranded in Mkushi. He is stranded because the Zambia Civil Aviation Authority has canceled his permit to fly in the Zambian skies as if he is flying across the border. A flight of just 15 minutes or 20 [minutes], he has been denied.”
Mweetwa had further lamented that the campaigns for the UPND were being frustrated.
“Remove this mediocre government. A government of desperation, a government of fear, a government of political intolerance. A government that cannot coexist with the opposition. Our campaign is being frustrated but I have good news, even if you stop HH from flying, this election will not be determined by where HH goes and what HH says. This election has been formed by the challenges and sufferings that the people of this country have undergone in the last five years,” said Mweetwa.