The Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) is concerned about the financing model of Zambia Airways Limited considering the current fiscal position of government and liquidity crisis within the private sector.CTPD Researcher, Mr. Bright Chizonde describes as worrying that Government has not yet explained to the public exactly how it plans to finance the national airline. We have not seen any budget allocation towards Zambia Airways set-up and government’s debt
situation would merit a caution regarding guaranteeing debt on behalf of the airline.
Mr. Chizonde stressed that it is not even clear whether the planes will indeed be leased from Ethiopia or purchased. Recently it was reported in a number of local tabloids, that government will no longer be receiving a customized VIP Super jet from Russia due to lack of funds to complete payments.
He said Government should also disclose how much it has made as down payment towards the jet from Russia.
‘’One would wonder how government seeks to deal with fake news using a mute approach on critical issues such as the re-launch of Zambia Airways’’, said Mr. Chizonde.
Mr. Chizonde has urged government to state the current position concerning how Zambia Airways will be launched as it is not sufficient to only update the public that the airline will soon be licensed and cleared for operations without addressing the financial aspects. He further said that limited finances coupled with a poor business model would drain the treasury and erode the limited funds meant for social service delivery.
Mr. Chizonde added; Government also needs to improve the management of information regarding public issues in order to ensure that fake news does not become the order of the day.
In order to advocate for improved Public Finance Management, Mr. Chizonde said CTPD will continue to analyze the decision to relaunch Zambia Airways and share its findings with the public. He stressed that the Centre’s engagement with public officials, private players and experts in the aviation industry continue to deepen CTPD’s conclusion that this decision is a gamble that the nation can ill-afford.