By Charles Tembo
THE Zambia Air Force says it has not evicted the Zambia Flying Doctors Service from the Zuze Air Force base in Ndola.
Last week health minister Sylvia Masebo expressed disappointment with ZAF for evicting ZFDS from Zuze Airforce Base following the takeover of the airport.
This was after ZFDS acting chief executive officer Dr Joseph Mulenga informed Masebo that the institution had been given a year to move out of the facility.
“Firstly, I am disappointed that ZAF can evict you. We are the same people working for the same government and President. But I will confer and engage my counterpart, the Minister of Defence [Ambrose Lufuma], to see how this can be resolved,” said Masebo.
She said the government had not budgeted for relocation of the ZFDS to the new Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport.
But ZAF director public relations and foreign liaison Lieutenant Colonel Helen Chota said the airforce shared a cordial relationship with the ZFDS and has not evicted the institution from the facility.
“The ZFDS will continue to operate from the Zuze AFB till such a time that appropriate facilities are constructed for the institution at the new Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport. The ZAF remains committed to coordinating and cooperating with the ZFDS in the provision of timely health care. ZAF City Airport remains open to the ZFDS for medical and casualty evacuation landings as it is strategically located at the heart of the city and close to the University Teaching Hospital,” said Lt Col Chota in a statement. “Additionally, a number of ZAF pilots fly with the ZFDS and contribute in the provision of quick health care. ZAF taking over the old Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport infrastructure will benefit the people of Ndola in the long run as the base will soon have facilities such as a clinic, schools, sports facilities and fire and rescue services.”