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ZAF officers’ death tragic

THE death of two Zambia Air Force (ZAF) pilots in a plane crash in Kazungula district, Southern Province, on Monday is another tearful moment for the country.
Chief Government spokesperson Chushi Kasanda said in a statement yesterday that Government has learnt with regret the death of the two officers.
“Government has learnt with sorrow the death of two Zambia Air Force pilots in a plane crash in Kazungula district, in Southern Province, yesterday [Monday].
“The tragedy is yet again another tearful moment for the country, which has lost a number of its prominent citizens in the recent past,” Ms Kasanda said.
She conveyed condolences to the bereaved families of colonel Lyson Siame and second lieutenant Kalasa Bwalya who died in the incident.
Col Siame, 42, an instructor, was also ZAF Livingstone station commander while Lt Bwalya, 27, was a student.
Ms Kasanda, who is Minister of Information and Media, said Government wishes the families God’s comfort and strength.
“The death of the two pilots is not only a loss to Zambia Air Force, but the nation as a whole,” Ms Kasanda said.
The plane crash happened around Makunka-Sihumbwa area, about 38 kilometres from Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport.
ZAF has since convened a board of inquiry to establish the cause of the crash.
The aircraft, SF-260 TW light trainer, went down around 11:20 hours on Monday, instantly killing Col Siame and Lt Bwalya.
ZAF Commander Collin Barry and President Hakainde Hichilema have sent their condolences to the families of the bereaved.
Last month, four people, including a pilot based in Livingstone, survived with minor injuries after a plane crash which happened in Mulobezi, Western Province.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the aircraft went down shortly after taking off at Mulobezi Airstrip following a suspected engine failure.