The Zambia Air Force today revoked the permissions granted to the opposition UPND to fly its helicopters as a means of transport by which to send the party’s observers and other logistics to polling stations, particularly where weather and flood conditions mean some areas of the country are inaccessible.
In a media statement, the UPND says the revocation at the last minute is despite prior authorization have been obtained from the Electoral Commission of Zambia to fly the helicopters on polling day and having undertaken the necessary pre-flight clearances in advance.
The statement says the Zambia Air Force has revoked the permissions without any explanation.
The UPND has since expressed concern that its observers will be unable to fulfill their oversight role in the way in which they had planned.
The opposition party says the last minute removal of permissions already granted has made coordinating alternative arrangements very difficult.