Joseph Kalimbwe, the Spokesperson of Zambia’s ruling United Party for National Development (UPND), who is also a former African Union (AU) Youth President (2014) has suggested that millions used by African leaders to travel to the Climate Change Conference (COP26) could be injected into the education sector.

Kalimbwe on Wednesday suggested that the benefit of travelling to Glasgow might not have produced results comparable to the cost of travelling as many leaders addressed empty auditoriums. He said Wednesday:

In Africa, we must understand that buying/hiring private jets is not a sign of economic success. We measure economic success by how many people can easily find jobs, how many can afford a decent living. These are the fundamentals of a nation’s economic success – not private jets!

We can use $1 Million to fund public school projects & get kids back into school – to jumpstart their future. Theirs is a future we must protect. Our leadership will not burn private jet fuel from Lusaka to go address 4 people overseas when we can save money & fly commercial!!

Some observers view Kalimbwe’s statement as a direct jab at President Emmerson Mnangagwa who reportedly hired a private jet from Azerbaijan, a former Soviet Republic, for an average of US$415 000 for a one-way trip from Harare to Glasgow.

The estimate suggests Mnangagwa is spending close to USS$1 million on travel alone.

Mnangagwa Tuesday addressed an almost empty auditorium, as did all the leaders who delivered their addresses during the 9 am to 1 pm slot.