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Zambia’s President, Hakainde Hichilima, Announce Plan To Sell Country’s $193M Presidential Plane For a Cheaper One

Zambia’s president, Hakainde Hichilima, announced plans to sell the country’s presidential planes, which had been purchased by the country’s previous government, in the months leading up to Hakainde Hichilima’s inauguration.

During his tenure, the country’s former president Edgar Lungu bought a plane worth $193 million. It is said that the plane was bought under very controversial circumstances.

Current chairman Hakainde Hichilima has announced his intention to recover the US$193m (£160m) spent to buy the Gulfstream G650.

Hakainde

He noted at a court conference on Tuesday that the amount spent on the plane was an extremely unnecessary expense and that a much cheaper alternative with similar features could easily suffice.

“We do not support that extravagance, because we could have gotten a plane of capability, in terms of range, reliability for around $20 million,” Hakainde Hichilema said.

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“So why did we have to spend $193 million on that piece of metal? We could have looked after the judiciary… we could have also bought a lot of school desks for the kids, we could have also invested in one or two border posts,” he added.

The President’s decision, as noble and impressive as it sounds, comes with some complications. The Zambian Air Force opposed the President’s decision to sell the aircraft, saying it is a military and not a government asset.

Zambia’s President, Hakainde Hichilima, Announce Plan To Sell Country’s $193M Presidential Plane For a Cheaper One

There is also a general opinion that selling the plane harms your boss’s safety. But others praised the president’s intentions.

Still, the controversial disaster caught the attention of the country’s anti-corruption agency, which launched an investigation into the circumstances of the plane’s purchase.

On Wednesday, the agency said it was studying the feasibility of the previous administration’s ability to buy the plane at an inflated price, rather than the “record price of $65 million at the time.”

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