SUNDAY MWEEMBA: SAFEGUARDING ZAMBIA’S SKIES
Mweemba (48), who is Acting Ground Operations Director, and Security Manager, at Proflight Zambia, exudes a calm and professional manner backed with the confidence of a man who knows his business.
And indeed, he has spent 27 years in aviation security at airport, regulatory and international levels and is passionate about safety and security. Not only does he know about aviation security and safety – he wrote operational manuals and has taught countless professionals in this vital field throughout Africa.
The former Chief Security Officer for National Airports Corporation (now Zambia Airports Corporation), joined the government entity as an Aviation Security Assistant in 1990 and working his way through the ranks before retiring in 2012.
At that point he made the leap from public to private sector and joined the now-closed Zambian Skyways as Aviation Security Manager before moving to Proflight Zambia as Safety and Aviation Security Officer in March 2015.
In just a few years he has piloted Proflight through the complex process of developing world-class security systems for its business and is now its Ground Operations and Security Manager.
Mweemba’s success and contribution to Proflight’s well-managed security record is not by chance. His vast experience follows his education and commitment. Born into a family of two, Mweemba grew up with his parents in Monze and moved to Luanshya and Kabwe in 1969. He pursued his education, adding a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in 2014 from the Northern Ireland Institute of Business and Technology. His professional qualifications from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) stand testament to his drive to remain at the forefront of current thinking in the industry, as an ICAO Aviation Security Professional Manager, he graduated from University of Concordia in Canada, and has been an ICAO Aviation Security Certified Instructor from 2009 to date and an ICAO Aviation Security Certified Auditor from 2002 to 2014, pending recertification.
Having acquired knowledge and experience, Mweemba has been keen to ensure he passes on his know-how to up-coming professionals. “I’m a specialist in aviation security in two fields. As a certified instructor since 2009, I conducted specialised training within Zambia and outside. I’m also a certified aviation security auditor since 2000 and I was involved in auditing more than 14 countries. That’s the international aspect,” said Mweemba. “Back home, although I worked for National Airports, I was seconded to the Department of Civil Aviation to assist in formulating policies and implementing national security programmes,” he explained.
One of his most interesting experiences in the aviation industry involved helping to shape Proflight’s security manual and update its existing Emergency Response Procedures Manual.
As part of that Mweemba was put in charge of Safety Action Groups for Cargo, Ground and Security. This came after successful completion of a Safety Management System Training course conducted in Lusaka by the leading aviation training institute Cranfield Aviation Training of South Africa.
Today, Mweemba serves an important part in Proflight security, participating in emergency response procedures, policy and procedures, manual writing and working with the crisis management team to ensure all necessary procedures are in place. His role has contributed to Proflight Zambia implementing International Air Transport Association (IATA) Standards as part of the airline’s efforts towards achieving the top operational safety accreditation standard in the global aviation industry.
For Mweemba that’s not all. He believes Proflight Zambia plays an important role in Zambia’s economy through creating employment and facilitating transport. Proflight Zambia has its base in Lusaka and services seven domestic and two regional destinations.
Mweemba knows Proflight Zambia has a strong future: “Proflight is an equal opportunities employer because the industry is highly regulated by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), which sets requirements for individuals to possess professional competencies and it is equal to archiving the standards.”
Still unlocking his potential, Mweemba is very much part of Proflight Zambia’s winning team.
He is married to Bessy Phiri with two children – a boy and a girl. He speaks fluent English, Tonga, Bemba and Nyanja. Mweemba’s hobbies include reading, watching and playing sports, and listening to the radio.