The Zambian ministry of Defence and other security wings have been put in panic and awkward situation over the alarming statement issued by Tourism and Arts minister Silvia Masebo that foreign planes can easily enter and leave the country without detection.
Sources within the Zambian security system say Ms. Masebo has effectively exposed the country’s porous security situation at the ministry of Defence, Home and Affairs and Office of the President, Special Division.
The sources said Ms. Masebo in her quest to fight Wynter Kabimba’s political battles against Given Lubinda (Minister-Foreign Affairs) and Geofrey Mwamba (Defence Minister) has ended up telling the bare truth to the whole world that Zambia has no capacity to detect foreign plains within its airspace.
The Zambian security officials also wondered where the Commander in Chief (President Michael Sata) is for a minister to issue such a dangerous statement about the country’s security without clearance.
Sources said a similar statement some years back landed the Post newspaper and their editors in problems with a charge of espionage when they reported that the Zambia Air force had not capacity to fight the Angolan Air force who had superior jet fight fighters than Zambian.
“Everyone in security is panicking and there are meetings going on currently on how to water down that statement which has been widely covered by both government media and PF compromised newspaper, the Post. If the story was only covered by you guys at the Watchdog, perhaps government would have brushed it side but the minister was even seen on ZNBC TV exposing the country’s porous airspace”
“What she has done is very dangerous to the security of the country. She is actually telling the world that Zambia is a porous country where anyone can sneak into and go out at will. How possible is it that a foreign plane can fly over our airspace without ZAF and National airports clearing that plane. The president should immediately fire Masebo otherwise she will bring him down. She must be arrested and charged for publishing falsehood. We can’t afford to have a minister with a porous mouth like Masebo,’ sources said.
Another sources said Ms. Masebo may have had good intentions but the complaint should have been directed to the President or ZAF through the Ministry of Defense and probably appeal for the Government (through Cabinet) to increase spending on ZAF to better equip it to discharge it’s duty to protect Zambia’s air space before exposing the country’s porous security situation.
Sources said Masebo’s statement is a clear declaration that the Ministry of Defence headed by GBM is sleeping and that the president has completely lost control of his ministers meaning that do not have regular Cabinet meetings where these issues are discussed.
Meanwhile, Watchdog understands that an airstrip is under construction in South Luangwa National Park near Mfuwe Lodge with the full knowledge of Ms. Masebo.
Sources are wondering the purpose of the airstrip if not for smuggling animals and Ivory when there already is a commercial airport about 15km away outside the National Park.