MINISTER of Defence Edgar Lungu says Zambia’s security has been put at risk by allowing a foreign national operate an airstrip in Luangwa.
Speaking when he visited Luangwa airstrip on Saturday, Mr Lungu said it is scandalous and a threat to national security to allow a foreigner run a sensitive facility like an airstrip.
The minister wondered where and how the Mozambican got authority to operate the airstrip.
“Who signed the concession for him to be operating our airstrip and who is he accountable to.” Mr Lungu asked.
Government officials in Luangwa were at pains to explain to Mr Lungu why a Mozambican is in charge of operations at the airstrip.
He said Government will not sit idly by and allow such a the situation to continue.
Mr Lungu said he will engage the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to assess the situation and examine the goods coming in and out of the country through Luangwa airstrip.
“As Government, we need to know how this Mozambican has been managing the airstrip and who he has been accountable to,” Mr Lungu said.
Luangwa district commissioner Eunie Mumba is also concerned about the management of the airstrip.
“We have serious security challenges on the airstrip because we do not know what is coming in and going out of the country,” Mr Mumba said.
He assured, however, that Government will get to the bottom of the matter.
Meanwhile, Mr Lungu has said Zambia has continued enjoying cordial relationships with Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
He said, however, that he will find out why the Zimbabwean government closed the route through Luangwa to South Africa which truck drivers and other traders had been using.
“It is good to maintain peace as we trade. We will engage the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the matter,” Mr Lungu said.