In what may turn out to be a serious national security scandal and breach for the Zambian Defence and Security wings, Tourism and Arts Minister Sylvia Masebo today revealed that unauthorised foreign aircrafts have been violating the Zambian air space by entering and leaving the country without being detected and smuggle animals, among others.
The minister has told journalists in Lusaka today that government has information that the Zambian air space was being violated and some animals were being airlifted using aircrafts that land in the country illegally using airstrips around the country.
The air security breach also raises questions on what other Zambian goods such as minerals are being smuggled through the various air-strips around the country.
Ms. Masebo has added that following the dismissal of top management officials at ZAWA, government has received numerous complaints from the public countrywide on the alleged corruption by the ZAWA officials. She notes that a lot of wrong has been done in the management of wildlife resulting in serious revenue losses for the country.
If Masebo’s claims are correct, it raises great security concern for Zambian security wings on how foreign owned aircrafts would enter the Zambian air-space without notice or detection. The alarming statement and revelations by the Zambian minister technically means anybody can easily bring arms in the country through the national parks without the Zambian security wings, Civil Aviation, and Zambia Airforce (ZAF) knowing.
Masebo said a joint team of investigators has started gathering documents at Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) headquarters needed to commence investigations into alleged corrupt activities in the issuance of safari hunting concessions.
Ms. Masebo says government has learnt that a lot of plunder has been done to the country’s natural resources at the expense of the Zambian people.