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.”