After a two days delay due to total incompetence by the Zambian authorities, the Chipolopolo boys finally started off for their 9 to10 hours journey around 21:30 hours on borrowed money to the Island of Cape Verde for the crucial AFCON fixture with that country.
And the bankrupt PF government is making frantic efforts to get another loan and bailout broke ZNBC to enable the PF broadcaster show the match tomorrow.
The Zambian soccer team, aboard an Airbus A320 chartered from South Africa, is expected to land in Cape Verde between 07:00 and 08:00 local time (10:00 or 11:00 Zambian time depending on stoppages for refueling in Dakar, Senegal).
Sports ministry officials including ministers Chishimba Kambwili and his deputy Christopher Mulenga, who organized the air charter on borrowed money, kept apologising to the players with all sorts of lies as if they were telling the gullible Zambian voters who believe their usual lies.
But unlike the Zambian voters who listen to the usual PF lies, the players who are all professionals in their careers, reminded the PF ministers that this was not the first time they had been subjected to such chaotic travel arrangements.
The players reminded the ministers that they had recently again been let down over a chartered flight last year ahead of their 2014 World Cup Group F qualifier against Ghana on September 5.
As earlier reported by the Zambian Watchdog, the players will go straight to the stadium on Wednesday to face a more organized Cape Verde that is currently leading the group.
Meanwhile, senior PF government officials have confirmed that the delay had nothing to do with flight clearances as lied by the PF ministers.
Sources say the flight charter were demanding for the money before releasing the plane which the PF government did not have as all the money has gone into by-elections and corrupt road contracts.
Sources say government had to organize an expensive loan facility from a bank that paid the flight company at a high interest rate due to short notice.
“We are operating on a cash budget and most of the ministries are not funded. In fact, our ministry had to get an overdraft for our minister, Kambwili, to travel for PF campaigns in Solwezi Central, leaving the ministry totally broke,” said the sources.
And sensing public anger, the PF government is also organizing another bank loan or overdraft to give ZNBC to acquire broadcast rights for the match tomorrow.
Sources say PF government leaders have sensed the public anger over the treatment of the footballers and how Zambians like football.
“You know everyone gets united around football in Zambia. And with by-elections coming on Thursday, there is pressure to prove that money did not go towards by-elections and so they are organizing a loan for ZNBC to show the match,” sources said.