Communication and Transport Minister Brian Mushimba announcing the cabinet approval of a new national airline during a "Team building" cocktail at Lusaka Intercontinental Hotel on Monday, 18 December 2017. Picture By Jean Mandela
Communication and Transport Minister Brian Mushimba announcing the cabinet approval of a new national airline during a “Team building” cocktail at Lusaka Intercontinental Hotel on Monday, 18 December 2017. Picture By Jean Mandela

Transport and Communications Minister Brian Mushimba has assured that the Zambiangovernment will not interfere in the running of the soon to be relaunched Zambia Airways.

In an interview in Lusaka, Mr Mushimba said government will stay off clear from the day to day running of the national career.

He has since disclosed that government will appoint a Board of Directors and Management team of credible, smart and intelligent people to manage the airline.

Mr Mushimba said the bringing of Ethiopian Airlines as an equity partner will further guarantee independence in the running of Zambia Airways.

He said lessons have been learnt in the past following the failure of Zambia Airways in 1994.

Mr Mushimba defended the decision by the government to reinvest US$30 million in restarting Zambia Airways saying the move will benefit the country in the long run.

“In the long term, this is what is good for the Zambian people. We have heard the valid concerns about political interference and those concerns have been acknowledged. We know Zambia Airways didn’t do well, yes there was a lot of abuse,” Mr Mushimba said.

He said, “the government has said, as we restart this airline, we won’t tolerate abuse. The independence of Zambia Airways will be established right from the start, right procedure and systems, right people will be put in place.”

Mr Mushimba added, “going in with a partner is further assurance that government means well. We see the larger picture, there is the domino effect of setting up the airline because it will grow certain industries like tourism, agriculture and horticulture. Remember, we used to have a flower industry here and it died with the death of Zambia Airways. You can’t export your flowers through Kenya Airways which stops three, four times before getting to Europe because your flower will die.”

The Transport Minister said government will not allow the airline to be abused by government and party officials.

“We are going to separate the airline from government. We have a strong partner. There will be no political interference. We will have a credible, capable, smart and intelligent Board members and the management team that will be equal to the task.”

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31 COMMENTS

  1. Greed our sickness. They may be smart and intelligent but spiritually sick thereby becoming corrupt…
    Government move is good but weakness of human words is my concern

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    • One cannot help but feel sorry listening to Mashimbwa. The man is oblivious to the situation in Zambia. Today, his govt will arrest Kambwili by instructing the police to do so. There is political interference in all spheres of life in Zambia. Even Zambia railways, bus stops and markets are interfered with.

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    • Mwaiche Mushimba when hallucinating to justify this non-viable project, he rants as though he is still on those Saturday blogtalkshows he enjoyed every Saturday as an ordinary free cadre. Its time to realize and talk as someone who has been to school and is now in a Government that is ever facing smart citizens capable to scrutinize viability of every public initiative.
      Ati None interference…… what medicine are on?
      Efficiency and professionalism are tall orders in a society where patronage is the order of the day.
      One thing Zambians know is that some people will go to jail over these intentional schemes of committing Zambians public funds to shredding expeditions. This is none viable initiative.

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    • All the smart people of the Zambian Enterprise are going to be flying Zambia Airways … I like the sound of that “Zambia Airways!!!”

      Every smart businessman with real smarts can see a great deal when it comes along. A seasoned JV Partner comes along and says dance with me, you invest $30MM and I give you access to a $1.5 Billion market share.

      This is the most viable project GRZ has under taken in the last 30 years!!! Please sit down, relax and enjoy your flight, Zambia…

      If you don’t do it some else will, and if this project fails don’t blame GRZ just come and crucify me instead. Can’t wait to buy me shares in this soon to be profitable venture and make hay while the Zambian sun shines …

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    • One of the barriers to entry for an airline is capital. Ethiopian Airlines is throwing its weight behind you and asking you to leverage yourselves 1:50 meaning for every $1 you spend you will have access to $50 more in the market.

      It’s up to you how much if that you want to reap, some is talking about toilets, another one about agriculture???!!!! How many toilets give you such leverage in a year as potential return on investment?

      How many cows can you breed from one calf that can produce 50 more in a year??? That’s what that $30MM is doing for you, giving you access to $1.5B market share.

      All we hear is negativity … have we really fallen so low that we can’t look up anymore?

      Heaven help us all …

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    • What does the minster mean when he says that “right people will be put in place.” Does he mean Easterners, Northerners and people from Muchinga?

      Believe me or not… there will be NO LOZI, TONGA OR ANYONE FROM NORTHWESTERN ON THE BOARD OR MANAGEMENT TEAM for Zambian Airways. PF is getting very tribal!! just look at the recently constituted boards for Times of Zambia and daily Mail-It only has Chewas and Bembas.

      One Zambia, One Nation went with KK.

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    • LOOK AT PEOPLE WITH VAST EXPERIENCE IN THE BUSINESS. THERE’S A ZAMBIAN WHO WORKED FRO ZAMBIA AIRWAYS AS A COMPUTER PROGRAMMER WHO HAS BEEN WORKING IN THE USA A IN HIGH MANAGEMENT AND TECHNICAL PORTFOLIOS. HE WORKED FOR A MEDICAL INSTITUTION, LATER ON FOR BOEING AIRCRAFT MANUFACTURING CORPORATION. IT IS WITH BOEING HE HAD WORKED FOR A LONG TIME. HE IS NO LONGER WORKING FOR BOEING BUT I WON’T MENTION HIS NAME AND CURRENT EMPLOYER FOR THE SAKE OF PERSONAL DATA CONFIDENTIALITY. HOWEVER, IF THERE’S A STRUCTURE BY THE GOVERNMENT TO NOMINATE PEOPLE, I WOULD BRING HIS NAME FORWARD AND THE REST WILL BE FOR THE GRZ TO LOOK INTO HIS BACKGROUND. THE MAN IS NOT JUST HIGHLY EXPERIENCED IN THE AERO BUSINESS BUT HAS EVEN WORKED WITH THE WORLD GREATEST MANUFACTURER OF AIRCRAFT. WE CAN MAKE THIS…

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    • WE CAN MAKE THIS NOMINATIONS THROUGH OUR EMBASSIES WHO WOULD CONFIDENTIALLY PASS THE NAMES ON TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR FINAL APPOINTMENT.

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    • Government is in ZESCO, Nakambala, ZNBC, ZCCM-HI, ETC.

      It’s naive to think the technocrats will stop the arm of government from getting into the cookie jar.

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  2. it might not be PF to interfere. it could NDC or UPND. Our cry as Zambians we are saying this project is not sustainable. We have seen how other airlines are struggling in the region and what will be the difference with our airline.

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    • “…We have seen how other airlines are struggling in the region and what will be the difference with our airline…”
      Involvement of Ethiopian Airways IS THE DIFFERENCE, Kays! This is one airline that has stood the test of time and continues to grow year in, year out. By taking on board Zambia as a partner, it is taking up dormant routes and direct flights into and out of Zambia. Tourists, are like you and me with only so much cash to splash. It is convenient and cheaper to fly direct to destinations of their choice without the anguish of connecting flights with attendant risks of loss of baggage!
      The Agrifloral industry whose demise Brig General Miyanda announced on TV in 1994 will surely resurrect.
      Cheer up it is well worth the risk.

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  3. Political interference isn’t the only business risk Mr Mushimba ,you gotta be well rounded ,flexible,visionary and adaptive to succeed.

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    • @Mzambia wa Zamani
      US$30m should be a fraction of the capital investment Ethiopian government has put up! One can therefore conclude that “GRZ” of Ethiopia will not tolerate political interference from our leaders. Also with the reputation Ethiopian Airways has built over the years, one ca also assume that there are grounded flexible visionaries running the enterprise and that we as Zambians will do well to learn from the brethren.

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  4. I hate sounding like i am hired gun against the govt, but when you speak the truth that’s what happens. How many companies do we have in Zambia that are free from political interference?

    I would have suggested you support the existing private airline(s), buy shares and promote it, they are already in the game, they have the experience and established routes though most of them are local ones. Just give the existing one(s) an edge not starting one from scratch bwana. Lastly, your investment would have been helping them start international routes. That’s it.

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  5. This guy has really become a scum & liar like his PF cohorts.
    GRZ will not interfere – haha..what an *****ic statement.

    Didn’t he a few days ago say that GRZ & PF officials will take an inception flight – are they going to pay for that??

    That money should have been invested into a productive venture such as agriculture.

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  6. Zambia Airways the National Carrier taking African Culture to the World!!! A multilingual atmosphere is needed aborad Zambia Airways with English and Cibemba for announcements and for writing notices in the plane. Just like Kenya Airways using Kiswahili “life vest under Your Seat” translated as :”Boya la kujiokoa liko chini ya chiko lako”. Support your local sherrif!!!

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    • Heck noooooo, we can’t allow ichiBemba as lingua franca and damned Bemba hegemony in Zed.

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  7. Brian, political interference is only one of the problems which no matter what you say cadres will be there at your new ZA. That board you shall appoint, I bet we shall see a cadre the way Davies Mwila is the board chairman for NAC. Remember you have gone against all the advise out there including the market environment that clearly gives evidence of losses in the aviation industry. But somehow you think yours will be different, probably you will be flying to Mars, I don’t know! Regardless, yours is to make sure you put business managers to run that ZA. Managers and administrators with proven track records not the fat bellied ones who wants to reap before they could sow! This is a huge one for you as all of us are waiting to come and point the ‘we told you so’ fingers.

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  8. Mushimba has failed to make Zambia Railways and Tazara profitable how will he manage Zambia Airways? Those old old Trains with cockroaches in them and bed buds are cheaper as they pass through bushes but they may be the poorest service in Africa that Mushimba cannot travel with, he cannot improve them how can he talk of airline. At some point Ethiopia will pull out once they learn thieving behaviour of PF and channelling profits to campaigns.

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  9. Those who will be appointed will be happy, but those who hope to be appointed but will not be will cry corruption!! I remember when I was not given a good house in NCCM how I cited all sorts of evil reasons why I wasn’t given that good house. Five years later I got a call out from the housing office and there I was given a house in Nkana East not Nkana West where I had hoped to be housed. East has far superior houses than West. I kept quite and ignored complaints that I had been given that house because the Manager Administration was from Luapula where I come from.

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  10. The question is Who is going to stop government from interfering? In his mind, Brian thinks he is government. The young man does not understand yet.

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  11. If cadres could storm the airport to try and force kilometre Sampa not land against international aviation regulations, what more with this ZA project. The G.R.Z interference here does not mean PF, but any party that may be in power in the future. Please look beyond your nose.

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  12. Lets use our National Carrier to play a major role in job creation especially in promoting our massive tourism potential. The only challenge that we currently have is that the people at Tourism Board dont seem to know what they are doing and its time this was reviewed.
    How can Botswana, a largely desert country surpass Zambia in tourism? The “Zambia Lets Explore is extinct and the people there are tired and innovative and its time we got new and vibrant brains there.
    If Ethiopia and Kenya whose GDP is solely on tourism and are economically vibrant, why cant mighty Zambia with so much to offer be the leader?

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  13. Only UPND sycophants are against progress in Zambia according to them investing in building toilets is a viable alternative…how ridiculous their warped minds proclaimed by the Supreme leader HH the privatisation crook who has hidden the privatisation loot in the paradise papers…The PF Government has a mandate to relaunch Zambia Airways given to them by the majority of the Zambians who voted for them…

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  14. Laughable: The Board will be made of PF supporters, who will then appoint a management team of PF supporters and the management team will employ PF supporters. If all these appointments were done on pure merit and competence one wouldn’t be worried! But alas, appointments will be based on whether or not you are PF regardless of competence and who boot leaks more! It is one Zambia Two Nations.

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  15. Sometimes political interference can be positive. The theory that businesses should be left to run themselves simply does not work. During the global economic downturn, we saw governments in developed countries intervening to save parastatals.

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    • You’re are right and that is argued in the Keynes theory who challenged the Classical theories in 1948 and basically said to reach full employment in the economy, Government needed to intervene at a certain point in time and mostly all developed countries do it…

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  16. How about having Cholera as a brand for the new airline. Just a business idea. We could get more donner funding for it that way.

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  17. Shut up please! The politicians are making all the machinations to revamp it and you want to f**l people that you will not interfere? We know very well, the only way to prove yourselves is to kick out all political elements in the bus stops and markets first. There is just no way politicians will leave the lucrative business alone for as long as it is government owned. Mushimba try telling that to those villagers who only appreciate a piece of chitenge material to vote your folks!

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