The Zambian government has finally opened its mouth after news reporting that President Edgar Lungu used millions of cash to purchase himself a luxury and pricey private jet. The news reports forced the Norwegian government to stop funding Zambian government with immediate effect.
Now the Ministry of defense has claimed that media reports alleging that President Edgar Lungu has purchased a specialized jet for his personal errands are not true.
Ministry of defense permanent secretary Stardy Mwale has disclosed that the Zambia air force under the ministry of defense has embarked on a programme to replace its ageing fleet of transport and fighter air crafts and other associated air defense equipment.
In this vein Mr. Mwale says the Ministry of defense through Zambia Airforce has purchased five planes and explained that one will be used to maintain airspace and monitor poaching, while the other three will be for commercial purposes.
Mr. Mwale has also said one of the planes will be used for VVIPs.
He said information circulating regarding Zambia’s procurement of aircrafts is misleading and malicious.
Mr. Mwale added that Zambia air force is the only state institution which is mandated to provide air mobility to the head of state and will remain the only procuring agent for Government aircrafts.
This comes after it was revealed that the Norwegian government has officially cut aid to the Zambian government. It will only be supporting NGOs. Over the years, Norway has given the Zambian government 15 billion kroner in aid, amid reports that President Lungu has just bought himself a luxury jet.
Zambia is the 5th largest receiver of Norwegian aid in the past 50 years.
According to Russian media, the president of Sukhoi was jubilant as he admitted that the price of the luxury jet was quite steep. The luxury jets that Sukhoi deals in and that Zambia’s president purchased are normally priced at 400 millioner nok kroner.
The contract to build and purchase a specially designed VIP jet for the Zambian president was signed in September in Moscow. According to Sukhoi, ‘the interior is designed to adapt to the customers preferences and reflects the customers prestige’.
The interior pictures of the Sukhoi luxurious business jet bought by the president of Zambia for around 400 million nok kroner. The luxury jet has its own bar for the president and his guests, it has a huge living room with a double bed.
As of 2017 Norway has given Zambia over 15 billion nok to build democracy and fight poverty since 1966. Aid has been reducned the last couple of years. In 2017/2018 the Norwegian government extended 170 million nok to Zambia.
The president last year built villas for 35 million nok in Swaziland according the the BBC. He received land from King Mswati as a present.
Last month, Zambia News 24 reported that The European Union (EU) and the United States of America (USA) may also suspend financial aid to Zambia over corruption scandals.
Britain, Finland, Ireland and Sweden have already suspended budget support to Zambia’s social welfare and education sectors due to concerns over financial mismanagement.
President Edgar Lungu has since received a backlash from Zambians over the British government’s confirmation that it has cut bilateral aid to Zambia following reports of massive corruption.