ZAMBIA’S CAF Champions League envoys Nkana Football Club is considering flying into Lesotho for their first game against that country’s champions Bantu FC on a Zambia Air Force plane.
And ZAF has billed Nkana almost K900,000 for a return trip slated for 26th November, 2020.
According to a letter from ZAF to Nkana FC seen by The Mast, the ZAF command is charging Nkana K896,000.80, that is operational costs at K582,400.52 and administrative costs at K313,600.28.
“Reference is made to your letter dated 11 November, 2020 regarding the above subject matter. We write to advise the chief executive officer that Zambia Air Force (ZAF) will provide one (01) C-27 J aircraft to convey club officials and players to Lesotho on Thursday, 26 November 2020 and pick them up on Sunday, 29 November 2020 to play in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League match. The cost implication to undertake the task is Kwacha Eight Hundred and Ninety-Six Thousand eighty ngwee (K896,000.80) only that will mainly cater for the cost of Jet A-1 fuel…we request that the money be made payable to the Chief of Finance, Zambia Air Force headquarters,” reads the letter dated 13th November, 2020 signed by Brigadier General W. Lungu.
The amount charged by ZAF is slightly expensive than the prevailing ticket prices with commercial airlines but an official at the club who spoke on condition of anonymity explained that the reason for opting to use a hired flight directly into Maseru was to avoid lengthy connections from South Africa as the team would again have to go through that country’s COVID-19 protocols which would take away training time.
The source said the ZAF plane is just one among other options adding that the command was also ready to negotiate for a price reduction.
“It’s just one of the options, because we are avoiding delays in connections from South Africa into Lesotho because there will be need for Covid protocols again which may take a long time so it may be costly as we may spend a night or so – that’s an additional cost. So we feel using a direct flight will be better,” said the official.
Nkana are trying to cut costs in every way possible following Mopani’s sponsorship pull out from the club.