9.5 C
Alba Iulia
Monday, February 6, 2023

President Hichilema will fly Commercial to attend UN General Assembly in New York-Mweetwa

HeadlinesPresident Hichilema will fly Commercial to attend UN General Assembly in New...

UPND Spokesperson Mweetwa has disclosed that President Hakainde Hichilema has no intentions of using the Gulf Stream jet for any immediate assignments including his scheduled trip to the UN General Assembly.

Mr Mweetwa said President Hichilema will use a commercial plane for his trip to the United States slated for next week.

He said the UPND’s position on the sale of the Presidential jet has not changed but will allow Cabinet make a final decision on the matter.

Mr. Mweetwa says the jurisdiction to decide on the fate of the plane now lies with Cabinet as it is a property of the Government.

Addressing the media, Mr Mweetwa said the position taken by the party before and during the General election campaigns remains the same as it is viewed as an unnecessary cost in the face of more competing needs.

“Allow me to place this on record as being the position of the party in relation to the Presidential Jet. We told the nation that the Jet would be auctioned because it was then considered as a not so necessary commodity in the presence of other competing needs. That position has not changed any bit. The Government is putting up all documentation with regards the purchase of the Gulf Stream. Therefore, that matter will be a subject of deliberation at Cabinet level and Cabinet will make a final decision.The President will not negate on his campaign promises”, he said.

Mr Mweetwa further revealed that the Presidential delegation to the United Nations General Assembly slated for next week in New York will travel using a commercial plane and not the Presidential jet as a cost saving measure.

He said only a lean delegation shall accompany the President to the global Assembly.


  1. The plane was bought brand new, meaning it lost 20% of it’s value immediately it was delivered. It will be a loss and waste of millions of dollars tax payers money not to use it for its intended purpose and sell it instead. Very irresponsible to have said you will sell it in the first place. Government elected officials come and go, it doesn’t mean we have to sell off or disuse government assets when they do. Where’s Sean Tembo o speak on this.

  2. Booking tickets for all the entourage?. C’mon guys. You are surely not applying the rule number 5 of cow ranch management here.
    One would understand that’s even more expensive than buying Kerosene for your jet.

    I hope this guy doesn’t have shares in emirates or whichever flight he shall use.

  3. Let’s hope HH will use an African airline Ethiopian or Kenya Airways to NY at least to keep the costs “within family” instead of outside airlines.

  4. The presidential jet is not a long-haul plane. Flying to New York would require five or six fuel stops, which would make it not only time consuming but also very expensive. Commercial is the way to go. Yes, let’s keep it in the African family – and Ethiopian is 49% stakeholder in Zambian Airways, so let’s give it to them!

  5. #1  Ndoleshyafye 
    September 15, 2021 At 7:01 am

    “The plane was bought brand new, meaning it lost 20% of it’s value immediately it was delivered. It will be a loss and waste of millions of dollars tax payers money….”

    But you were mocking HEHH about his election promises and his tripe to the UN, now you are begging him to use the jet ???

    Very clever move by HEHH , the type of cost cutting measures investors and donners appreciate ……

    Selling that jet and investing the proceds in realestate would sponsor thousands of deserving children to attend school…..

  6. Stop politicking and use the bloody plane. Tickets on emirates for the whole delegation will probably cost more. Besides the private jet will even carry journalists as a bonus.

  7. Is Mweetwa the government spokesman? Or a UPND alliance spokesman. ? Does Hakainde belong to the Alliance of to UPND? Who is in power..UPND or UPND alliance? Where is that chap Kawana who claims to be the UPND Alliance spokes person? What is the role of the young man Anthony ..the voice of the President? And that chap from Kambwili’s party….who is also a spokesman of some sort. I am confused.

  8. No need to tell us what mode of transport the president will use, just deliver on your promises quietly, its us the ciizens to judge you. We have a list of your promises and we will be ticking when you score.

  9. We know the only reason Bally will not use the presidential plane is because he is a very superstitious person and not because it is costly to do so. He continues to use his private vehicle with an eagle one flag on state duty. He still maintains his medicine man people think is a body guard when the guy does not have the looks of such a functionary. He continues to wear his free mason white gloves all because he thinks he might somehow touch poison or juju left behind at state house. However, we wait to see whether he will go and greet US President Biden and other foreign dignitaries at the UN National Assembly with his white gloves on. We are dealing here with a control freak who thinks he, and not God, can have 100% control over his life.

  10. Sending clear message to IMF , WorldBank, Investors, and the PF Vuvuzelas, that this guy means business ! COST REDUCTION. GOOD POSITIONING
    And, its just 3 days ago when HH was called a hypocrite based on speculation and anticipation that he was going to use the “ECL JET”. Awe, bane the dirty still remains on Lungu……just suck it up.

  11. @Nigga Nature
    Do you realise the cost of flying that jet ? and all the fees involved and refueling
    Lets be fair here and constructive

  12. #5 That’s what many people don’t understand… that plane would make at least ten stops for refueling before it reaches New York. It’s only good for Adis Ababa.

  13. Mweetwa you are no longer in opposition and you are not a Govt Spokesman so shut up…its not our fault you were not appointed maybe this is the reason you were not appointed by HH as Information Minister. You are being sidelined by PF empty tins to debate about trivial issues instead of the economy…there is nothing you will get that is substantial from selling a second hand Jet that was probably bought at an inflated price so then Defence PS Sturdy Mwale could get his master’s cut.

  14. @Tarino Orange , mune,
    Mweetwa is speaking from the UPND Party position, not as a government spokesman. We don’t want a mix-up between party affairs and government affairs as was in PF era. Mweetwa is responding to one critism of the UPND promise as a Party, remember he is still a UPND Spokesman. I believe its okay, for him to issue that comment. Its clear they are aligned, the Governmenet and the Party.
    Regarding your comment on the Jet, I find it to be contradictin what your actual position is, I thought your position has been to sell off the jet.

  15. Party of liars….HH was initially traveling to USA for the UN General Assembly but they made it look like he was on an official state visit invited by the USA…….so it’s just the usual visit…stop making up stories and trying to make HH look like he is all that…Useless beggers….they’re just coming to the UN to beg

  16. This guy must now focus on developmental issues in Southern province.
    1.Build more cattle dipping facilities to combat cattle dieseses.
    2. Improve fish farming in Siavonga
    3. Uranium Mining
    4 Improve on rearing of Goats ….we still have opportunity to export to Saudi Arabia.
    5. Promote cultural tourism. .Ingombe Ilende sites. Talk more about that god who stopped the buiding of the Kariba dam.
    6. Promote Livingstone at the world’s best tourist destination . Use more of Chief Mukuni
    7. Promote the now famous DUDUMWEZI and the famous name HAMUDUDU.
    He should be the face and spokesperson of the Tonga speaking people and the entire Southern Province.

  17. Where is the Government Spokes Person to inform the nation on these important issues.
    Why is Mwetwa poking his nose in government comms. This must stop.

  18. People forget that this is a time of a pandemic, why should our newly elected President be subjected to flying commercial and be exposed to something that is killing people? Not to mention the hurdles of travel restrictions in effect. Just because the plane was bought for use by ECL as President doesn’t mean it was personal to holder. The fact that it’s available for the new President to use proves this. Why sell it? Selling a government asset at deliberate loss is corruption.

  19. These boys are just learning so let’s forgive them, if the Gulf Stream is the property of ZAF then it can’t be easily sold. By the way why is Mweetwa still speaking on behalf of government and the Presidency? That’s not the job description of a Provincial Minister. Government has its Chief Spokesperson who’s at the Ministry of Information and the President has an Assistant for Press who’s Anthony Bwalya. It’s far more costly to charter a private plane or does Bally want to travel 3rd Class on Ethiopian Airways? We know that he’s still paranoid, hence his refusal to use anything that his predecessor used. He must grow up before he embarrasses us. These politics of poverty won’t impress most of us, just fulfill your campaign promises or rebase your promises from 70,000 jobs for…

  20. @Saulosi ,
    “HH was initially traveling to USA for the UN General Assembly but they made it look like he was on an official state visit invited by the USA”
    “President Hakainde Hichilema will later this month undertake his first international trip as Head of State when he visits the United States of America to attend the 76th UN General Assembly in New York. “Whilst in the US, President Hichilema will fly to Washington D.C to meet President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House on Thursday, 23rd September 2021.”

  21. I thought HH going to New York will be making a serious statement of intent in that he will be seen to be serious about cutting down on costs/practicing austerity measures?Compare that to Adada carrying hundreds on his first trip to New York and dancing like a kaponya

  22. 1. HH is hedging, circumventing and gazing the mood of Zambians on the Presidential Jet. The cabinet was appointed by HH, and I doubt if his cabinet has strong people who will tell their boss not to continue using the plane. He does not need to ask the cabinet, especially when he is clearly quoted telling Zambians that: “I Will Sell The Presidential Jet When I People Vote For Me.” He can just use his Executive Power and own it because he said so.



  24. 2. This is a matter where the cabinet will vote to keep the Jet and HH will come out and say the people of Zambia voted for me to continue using the Jet. Smart move but it would be deceitful because the cabinet route will not be a free and conscious vote. Already he has back tracked on Free Education. So what makes his cabinet assume he was serious about selling the Jet.

    Best just to use the Jet for short flights like within Zambia or near by countries for his security and costs. Selling it, the government will get peanuts. The minute you buy a brand-new car and register it in your name. It loses value immediately. The Presidential Jet has done gazillion of miles. They will be lucky if they can sell it for $10M if you look at the value of second hand Gulf-Stream Jets on the…

  25. I expect Hon. Mweetwa to do more talking on how he is going to delivery to people of Southern Province now that he is Provincial Minister. being Party spokes person does not mean talking on GRZ issues like selling the Gulf Stream, it will fetch less its original cost and that in itself is not in national interest. We all saw how Presidents jetted in to attend the swearing in of Bally as 7th Republican President. A serious country should provide serious and reliable means of transport to its seating President and other govt officials. The office of the President is constitutional and whatever was said during the campaigns its water under the bridge. How do you sell that plane, there a lot implications such the cost the state incurred to train aircrew, spares etc. How do you subject a…

  26. That jet cost $65 million with all the Israeli anti missile systems installed ………

    It can be sold for 40 to $50 million that zambia does not have , millions that can be invested sustainably to support thousands of school children……….

    The cost of keeping that jet far out weight its infrequent use, unless HEHH is planning on flying out every month……….

    if needed, it will be cheaper to hire a jet now and again when needed. The oneoff cost of hiring a jet is cheap compared to keeping one for infrequent use…….

    This one , the score is….

    Bally 3: 0 critics

  27. Tarino Orange (17)

    You always wake from the wrong side of the bed, hence the constant antagonism and vitriol. Mweetwa is UPND Party Spokesperson and he is speaking on behalf of the ruling party in government. Why are you attacking him to shut up and getting very personal? Once again, another proof that shows you are a rascal who turns up at Lusaka times just to attack and attack. Change a career and find a job that gives you happiness. You appear to have all the time in the world looking at how constantly you are on Lusakatimes, bashing people.

  28. You need to understand the cost of flying that Jet. It will need a number of stops and when it lands in the US, the packing fees are astronomical. Above all it cannot carry everyone. The best at the moment is Commercial. Do not criticize for the sake. Understand the facts.

  29. @General Kanene
    Am a Journalist my dear friend…..I can read between the lines….all of you UPND supporters were jumping up and down celebrating HH’s state visit to the USA…..Nope its the usual UN General Assembly. ..and being a big headed man and begger he is…..HH decided to come with a begging bowl…..

  30. #35  Saulosi
     September 15, 2021 At 11:58 am

    “@General Kanene
    Am a Journalist my dear friend…..I can read between the lines….all of you UPND supporters were jumping up and down celebrating HH’s state visit to the USA…..Nope its the usual UN General Assembly. ..and being a big headed man and begger he is…..HH decided to come with a begging bowl…..”

    The UN General assembly is a gathering of world leaders ………..

    There are many meetings on the sidelines between world leaders to discuss economic and other bilateral ties ……..

    There can not be a better place or time for HEHH to meet other world leaders on the sidelines of the general assembly to discuss things economic……

  31. They want to sell it so that HH can buy it on the cheap te? Anyway its GRZ property, let the vice president use it if HH is scared of juju. Let him fly Zambia Airways like the rest of us.

  32. SPAKA

    I read your comments yesterday, that you work in the media 24/7, a reason why you are addicted to posting your garbage every single minute on lusakatimes. I almost fell from my chair with laughter. Man ! Stop being a laughingstock. Where in the world can you sell the second hand Gulfstream Jet for $50m which Zambia has owned for long while when brand new one is from $35m to $55m. You must be the most unrealistic person on Lusakatimes or planet earth. You come up all the time with Israel this… Isreal that… Please spend time reading your lies you post. You have not got so much going on in your life. You don’t come to lusatimes to debate but just to have unnecessary fights which is a definition of a psychopath. Ghosh! You are the meaning of the term… INTERNET TROLL

  33. @Saulosi,
    I don’t want to underestimate your level of journalism….But I have a problem with a journalist who can NOT understand the content of another Journalist from LT. I quoted, the exact text, and the message was clear, 1) Visit UN and 2) use the opportunity to meet the US president and others. So I don’t know how that is unclear, how do you come up with a statement which is VERY UNTRUE and I quote. “……….. but they made it look like he was on an official state visit invited by the USA”. THIS IS A BIG LIE FROM YOU, AS NO ONE MADE IT LOOK LIKE HE WAS ON AN OFFICIAL VISIT INVITED BY THE USA. Check your records before issuing FAKE STATEMENTS, BREAKING JOURNALISM ETHICS.

  34. xFactor @ 38

    Just to add to your comments.

    1. The aviation industry has suffered due to global lockdown. The world is taking advantage of remote working and having conference meetings via Conference Networking Technologies. Top Corporate Executives have reduced international travelling by 72 %. Even Global Leaders are having conferences by using technologies such as Zoom. More people are working from home. More Universities are introducing Online Distance Courses, which means less international student travels.

  35. 2. This has led to the price of brand-new planes and Executive Jets drastically go down. Just as well moving forward this appears to be the norm because Internet Technologies have given people freedom to study, work and do business from home. And its cost saving.

    So, its very impractical to sell the Presidential Jet at a good price. Zambia will be lucky to get $10m. The Presidential Jet is not a commodity that can return value at later stage due to demand.

  36. 3. Stars such as Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Michael Jordan, John Travolta, Lewis Hampton ( F1 Driver) and many more in the corporate world have sold part of their private jets because the value of their planes have gone down. It’s like selling security-stocks on the stock market because the capital markets have crushed – only to come back later and invest again when the market picks up

    The above are just facts and reality and not guessing games

    Enjoy the day… !!

  37. And when the president is home and domestic, I encourage him to use commercial transport services too.

    Has Hichilema Hakainde Sammy forgotten that Biden Joseph Robinette has Air Force One always waiting for the president to take off?

  38. #38  xFactor 
    September 15, 2021 At 12:33 pm


    I read your comments yesterday, that you work in the media 24/7, a reason why you are addicted to posting your garbage every single minute on lusakatimes. I almost fell from my chair with laughter. Man ! Stop…..”

    Looks like you are the only villager in town who does not know that jet went to isreal to get kitted out with defensive systems…..

    I still stand by my estmate of 40 to 50 million price tag for that jet…….

    And unfortunately you are another one who I will be pleased to confirm I work 24/7 on the Internet and I am more often right then wrong in my postings ,

    While you sound like a scared little man…..

  39. @Spaka and General Kanene
    But at least you’ve acknowledged that the official notice was spinned to look like HH was invited by the USA government of which was not the case….as a matter of fact HH should have opted to do virtual meetings from Zambia…i bet he will spend just less than 3 minutes if at all they grant him access to meet the President of the USA…normally it will just be a handshake and HH will be grinning in front of cameras….and it will end there…but look at how much tax payers money will be spent…UPND is not different from PF infact its even worse…I thought they want to reduce unnecessary spending and create employment for the youths

  40. Gulfstream G650 Facts

    “While the list price for a new G650 is $65 million, used aircraft are currently listed starting at $39 million….”

    If you add the defensive systems fitted in isreal , 40 to $50 million is not far off the mark………

    Contrally to some assertions , mass travel in times of covid 19 has pushed up damand for exclusive private jet travel…..

  41. Keep the damn thing!! The office of Presidency requires it. When they made those pronouncements, they were in opposition and had no idea what it means to be President. What they can do is increase its use by allowing other senior govt officials, service chiefs and others to use it. Possibly even let others outside the country use it, in that way they can recover the cost. The bottom line is all Heads of States of countries have such items and it enhances state security. A head of state on a commercial flight is a joke when Prince Harry uses a private jet. In fact what normally happens is that there is another jet that should transport the security team long before the president arrives. So you see, you have this issue backwards!!

  42. SPAKA, SPAKA @44 , … Kikiki Kikiki Kikiki, Ma Ma, Ma. Ma…

    xFactor @38 You nailed him that’s who SPAKA is to be specific. Ladies and gentlemen, please ignore SPAKA. He is a sick man. A fool and stupid person, is a person who always thinks he/she is correct and rants non stop.

    INDEPENDENT OBSERVER @40 and @41 – as always has put down the #Logic, #Stats, #Data, #Realistic and #Objective points. Now look at
    SPAKA @44. He has nothing, but a blank cheque and just full of himself. This guy is a total bum, a satanic ***** and d**head. The only villager here is SPAKA, just like he keeps exposing his f00lishness every single day. If really [email protected] was a journalist he would know that companies like BOEING, AIRBUS, BOMBARDIER, & GULFSTREAM AEROPSACE are really struggling to…

  43. If really [email protected] was a journalist he would know that companies like BOEING, AIRBUS, BOMBARDIER, & GULFSTREAM AEROPSACE are really struggling to make and sell planes. This stuff is in the business news and global news every week. What a narcist piece of empty space in the head

  44. #49  Yoga

    Another dull scared little man……..

    Aircraft manufactures could be struggling but demand for private jet travel is surging

    Look up

    “private jet travel trends 2021…..”

    Yoga , your are so thick, when I say I work 24/7 on the Internet does not mean I am a Journalist, dummass…….

  45. #52  Mazabuka Trading Company 
    September 15, 2021 At 4:29 pm

    “And the scores are: INDEPENDENT OBERSER: 5, XFACTOR: 4, SPAKA: 0..”

    They are mostly wrong, and most of you are the usual PF caders cowardly changing names ……..


  46. Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans Honeybee

    Flying commercial is much cheaper than using a jet where you pay so much fees everywhere and fuel. This guy HH is starting to impress me that he is probably for real. But I hope it is not hiring an entire commercial flight as that would even be more expensive. Yes Business Class but mingle with commoners and just pay a normal fee for you; your secret service shushu and a small entourage.
    I really hope you are for real and not just another Sata travelling in a bus just for show and the cameras.

  47. Dear Bloggers,

    On Gulfstream 650 . This is just a correction. The President Gulfstream 650 we have in Zambia did not come with Anti-Missiles from Israel. This is not true. It only has Collision Avoidance system also referred as TCAS. It’s a very small plane to carry anti missiles capabilities. I am an ex pilot for Zambia Air Force. I trained in Israel & Cuba during the KK Regime. I was part of the team that went to source and enquire what was the most suited plane to be used by the President. The truth of the matter is that it did not come with Anti-Missiles as stated by comments on this thread. To have anti missiles you have to add Rocket Motors and Radar Systems for short range and long range counter attacking missiles directed to bring down the plane. The plane is tiny for that…

  48. “…….The aircraft arrived in the Zambian capital Lusaka via Israel late last month. The aircraft (AF001) has cost an approximate $65 million and is fitted with self-defense systems, Defenceweb reported Tuesday….”


    “Matador Infrared Countermeasure (IRCM) system on its business aircraft for government and corporate…”

    You don’t need rockets to have a ati missile system…….

  49. Just ignore this troll called SPAKA. He feels important when you make him the subject. As the old saying goes, “Say yes to please a f00l”.

  50. Really laughable that the Gulf Stream Jet has been fitted with anti missile lock jammers like Airforce One….PF thieves can tell you anything to justify at inflated price!! loool

  51. Absolutely ridiculous, laughable comments spattered all over with little logic obscured even more by the usual profane garbage. The President’s
    office is in and by itself a nationall institution demanding many security and communications assets 24/7. As he travels he must have unfettered access to his subordinates and security chiefs as well as other world leaders. He cannot wait 15hrs of flight time to reconnect with the world. A. cellphone is not an option. The risks of commercial flight are many but none more so than a hijacking! If travel secure is not paramount, so is the need for secure motorcades or Secret Service as some of you call State House police. Abandon all govt fleets and have all of them from the President on down to Military commanders ride Buses, Minibuses, Taxis and…

  52. SPAKA (56)

    Sir, That statement you have posted and pasted on article 56# you copied it from DefenceWeb a South African website. And it’s not true. It’s a total misreport. The Zambian government has never said it comes with anti-missiles technology. It is because it does not have that technology.
    If anyone fires a hand held ballistic missile, they can bring down the Gulfstream Presidential Jet. It has no capability to counter intercept or defend missiles. Please don’t believe everything that get posted on the Internet. Repeating something that is not true a million times does not make it to be true. It still remains untrue. I ask you to find someone in the ZAF and ask them, they will confer the truth to you. Thank You

  53. Tarino Orange @ 58

    Its SPAKA @ 56 that you should be laughing at. He is the one promoting these out of this world conspiracies that the GULFSTREAM comes with anti missile lock jammers like Airforce One – you are talking about. Its not PF. Its coming from the UPND Attack Dog. It appears you also cannot keep up with his lies. Oh Dear Me !!

    SPAKA @ 56 – you see even your own base is now laughing at you. Kikiki Kikiki, Kikiki

  54. This is my position ladies and gentlemen.

    A President is a most important person in a legitimate country because of the number of people he represents. Bees have a queen that is well protected, Ants alike and many more animals you can think about. President HH should not hide in the name of cost cutting by putting his life in the open and at risk from all those that are not happy about him. He has inherited a government that has been corupt for over 20 years and he is now making decisions that will send them to jail with a return of whatever they stole. Furthermore, these corupt people used government influence and operated with outsiders, who will in turn come in the open as government pursues these corruption cases around. This is just a background of things, so the point is,…

  55. I am happy that I have begun getting support from bloggers like Chagumu farm and Festy (nos 61 and 66 respectively). This has been my position all along that our president is a national asset and therefore deserves to use his own presidential plane. Let the president listen to the voice of reason. Travelling by commercial planes for a Head of State is too risky. As Festy has correctly stated, our president should not hide in the name of cost-cutting by putting his life in the open and at risk from all those that are not happy about him.

  56. #67 Just one thing I want to know. When our president travels commercial does he get the whole plane to himself or they get part of the plane? I’m just thinking of the security men. I know KK used to use the liquidated QZ but that was our own airline so it could be used for his entourage only.

  57. Deja Vu, he travells together with everyone going that way, he goes on business class where you can also go as long as you can pay

  58. Deja Vu, , what festy has said is the truth. By using a commercial plane, our Head of State will be treated like any other passenger in the business class. This is why I get puzzled that people who claim to love our president are in the forefront supporting the narrative that he should travel by a commercial plane as a way of cutting costs. Cutting costs at the risk of endangering your president! My foot! As I have stated elsewhere, I was one of those privileged to travel with KK on many of his state visits around the world. Although he did not have his personal plane per se, the government of the day used Zambia Airways Boeing 707 or Boeing 737 plane for his exclusive use during the duration of the trip depending on whether he was travelling within Africa or overseas.

Comments are closed.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest News

PRO’S HIT LIST: Quiet But Productive Weekend

It was a quiet but fairly productive weekend overall for most of our foreign-based regulars. =SOUTH AFRICA -Amazulu/Maritzburg United: Midfielder...
- Advertisement -

More Articles In This Category