Defence Minister Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba has urged the media to desist from being sensational when reporting national issues and avoid misleading the public.
Mr Mwamba said reports that the Zambia Air Force (ZAF) helicopter made an emergency landing in Kabwe en-route to Mpongwe via Ndola due to a fault were highly misleading.
He cautioned journalists to be ethical and professional when reporting national issues to avoid causing unnecessary alarm among members of the public.
The minister said in an interview yesterday that the ZAF helicopter, which was carrying journalists when it landed in Kabwe on Saturday, was relatively new and that there was no way it could have developed a fault.
“You journalists should avoid to be sensational when you are reporting. This sensational journalism must come to an end. You want to bring out an issue out of nothing. You can not report that the minister’s car had a tire burst. The helicopter is very reliable,” he warned.
He said the landing of the ZAF helicopter was a precautionary measure by the pilots and was normal.
He said it was only prudent for the driver to park when there was a knock sound from a motor vehicle engine.
Meanwhile, Mr Mwamba said his ministry has started modernizing the defence force and that the exercise was a continuous process.
“We are slowly modernizing the aircrafts in the air force and that helicopter is a few months old. What happened is normal and the pilot took a precaution because he could have reached Ndola. Those helicopters can fly on one engine,” he said.
Central police chief Sandwell Lungu said the Chopper landed near Kohima Barracks and that no injuries were recorded.
Muchinga Province minister Charles Banda and several senior government officials escaped unhurt in June last year when the ZAF aircraft AF 746 made an emergency landing in Shiwangandu area of Muchinga Province.