Charles Kakoma says UPND officials are law abiding citizens who would have courteously given way to President Edgar Lungu’s motorcade had they seen it coming.
In a statement, Kakoma, who is party spokesperson, said President Lungu’s motorcade approached Hakainde Hichilema’s motorcade without warning.
“We would have courteously given way to the motorcade carrying Edgar Lungu had we seen it coming. Assertions that we opted to drive side by side with the motorcade that was carrying Lungu are not a true reflection of what transpired. We are a law abiding party and we do understand the rules of road usage.
We cannot put the lives of innocent people in the line of danger over who has the right of way,” Kakoma said.
“As you can see from the pictures, we were driving in a convoy of vehicles and without warning we just saw state vehicles overtaking us at a very high speed. Only when they passed us did we notice that it was Edgar Lungu’s motorcade.”
He said UPND officials could not abruptly stop as doing so would have caused an accident.
“We couldn’t make an abrupt stop considering that we were also in a motorcade. Doing so would have caused an accident of unimaginable proportions that would have resulted in the injuries or death of some of our members. We wish to make it clear here that we are not in a childish or petty competition with Edgar Lungu. We will gladly give way if notified but in this case we were also caught unaware. As you can see from the pictures we were on the left lane meaning the cars carrying Edgar Lungu were the ones doing the overtaking,” said Kakoma.
“Our vehicles actually slowed down and others even attempted to stop so as to pave way amid the confusion. None of our vehicles attempted to block the motorcade but instead kept to the left lane giving Edgar Lungu’s motorcade enough space to over take us. We are just thankful to God that nobody was hurt in the process. We feel the police should have conducted themselves in a professional manner to send an advance party to clear the road to ensure that all road users were guaranteed of a safe passage.”
He added that it was strange that there were no sweeping vehicles or police motor bikes with sirens to warn them that there was a motorcade coming behind.