(By Charles Tembo and Darius Kapembwa)
THE Zambia Airports Corporation Limited has suspended Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport chief security officer Fridah Mupasha Mweetwa for what has been described as failure to perform duties. The corporation has also suspended the airport manager Joseph Mumbi. Mweetwa confirmed her suspension in an interview yesterday.
“Yes, I have been suspended from work. The reason on my suspension letter is alleged failure – the way we handled a named opposition leader on May 11, 2019. That is all I can say for now. We will wait for the due process. That is all I can say. Thank you for your concern,” Mweetwa said.
When reached for comment, Mumbi said, “I have no comment to make.”
But according to sources at the airport, the two “failed to perform the duties by giving UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema ‘special’ VIP treatment.”
Sources fear more employees might be targeted. This was on Saturday when the opposition leader arrived at the airport to a thunderous welcome from UPND supporters on his tour of the Copperbelt. According to sources in Ndola, Mweetwa and Mumba have all been suspended because ‘authorities’ were unhappy with the way they ‘handled’ Hichilema’s visit.
“There has been a lot of pressure, it’s a serious witch-hunt, people are living in fear, working with fear because we don’t know who is next. If you contact them [Mweetwa and Mumba] the reasons they have been given are ridiculous. How were they supposed to handle HH, because he is like any other passenger using the airport? Do they have powers to arrest him? No! He is not a flight risk. So…we don’t know where we are going,” said the source.