President Edgar Lungu’s press aide Amos Chanda says overtaking UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema’s entourage in Mongu yesterday did not put the Head of State at risk.
In response to several queries on a media WhatsApp group about the incident today, Amos said President Lungu’s entourage did not want to fall into HH’s trap of causing a scene by forcing him off the road.
“Route lining was done. HH passed major check points in good time but slowed down so Eagle One can find him on the way which happened. We had two options: to slow down and allow [him] to reach Limulunga or to bump him off and create some scene of sorts which is what he wanted. A decision was made to by pass him and in our mind we were clear non danger was posed to HE unless HH himself would ram his car into Eagle One,” Amos stated.
“A split second decision would be made to prevent that cause at that stage any movable object in motion or stationery is constantly on target from some close range, which is why it was spectacularly foolish for HH and his minders to place themselves into that real and eminent danger!”
Amos noted that HH’s decision to slow down cost him a vintage position at the Litunga’s landing port.
“Secondly, as per established security and protocol orders, a decision to bump off all strange objects was made but a quick consultation upwards resulted into a different option which was undertaken. Thirdly, as the result something happened that made HH and GBM and their entourage to remain outside the arena some 500 meters away instead of being in the VVIP shelter some 5 metres away from where the Litunga was disembarking from the royal barge! From the Harbour, that foolishness cost them the vantage point cause as soon as guest of honor passed royal and state protocol did not allow anyone to pass,” said Amos.
“As a result two men hobbled away in shame even before the king could rise to enter his summer palace. As I write today a royal banquet is taking place and the two men left for Lusaka two hours ago, their seats empty notwithstanding the cows and mealie meal they donated!”