Saturday, 10th July, 2021.
UPND Alliance leaders were this morning blocked from travelling to Mpika district in Muchinga Province for the ordination ceremony of Right Reverend Edwin Mulandu at St Joseph the Worker Cathedral.
The Alliance partners who were scheduled to fly into Mpika on a chartered plane for the procession had their flight permit canceled by authorities who said PF members of the central committee were traveling to the same destination.
The UPND Alliance leaders included Movement for Democratic Change MDC President Felix Mutati, Movement for National Transformation President Dr Daniel Shimunza, MDC Chairperson for Disability Sarah Brotherton and MDC Deputy Media Director Edmond Miti.
It was after waiting for over three hours at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport that civil aviation authorities got back with a position that the UPND Alliance team can only fly to Chipata today as they will only be granted permit to fly to Mpika on Tuesday as a measure to avoid confusion with the other camp of the PF Central Commitee members.
And reacting to the development, MDC President Felix Mutati has described as laughable the decision to grant the team permit to fly to Chipata where they had absolutely no business, instead of Mpika where the installation of the Bishop was taking place today.
Mr Mutati said this decision has not only affected the UPND Alliance but was ridiculous and injurious to the economy and was a political way of propagating poverty as it denied the air charter and Zambia Revenue Authority the much needed income simply because this transaction was looked at from the perspective of the transactor.
” We have developed the habit of looking at transactions from the perspective of the transactor. Let’s stop this. We were going for a church function to witness the installation of the bishop” Mr Mutati said.
Meanwhile, Movement for National Transformation leader Daniel Shimunza said it is disappointing that the permit to fly to Mpika was denied by the authorities for reasons that were not rational.
Dr Shimunza said the PF led government must begin to understand the importance of co-existence and the fairness required in political dispensation.
“We are disappointed because in an election year, what we want to see is walking the talk on peace, unity and love. We have failed to show love to our friends (the catholic) because of the denial of a permit for the chartered flight. As an Alliance, we feel this is not fair” Dr Shimunza said.
Right Reverend Edwin Mulandu was appointed by the Pope to take over from Bishop Justin Mulenga who died recently.
He was consecrated on the 3rd of July, 2021 at the Cathedral of the Child Jesus by His Grace Archbishop Gianfranco Gallons, Apostolic Nuncios to Zambia and Malawi.