Chief Government Spokesperson Dora Siliya has apologised to Congo DR President Joseph Kabila over the motorcade accident which occurred along Leopards Hill Road on Saturday.

In a statement, Monday, Siliya, who is also Minister of Information, claimed police had done route lining but the deceased driver of a Toyota Dyna registration number ACJ 8318, Andrew Phiri, disobeyed orders and overtook 10 vehicles, causing an accident.

“I wish to inform the nation that, last Saturday, 17th February, 2018, His Excellency the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mr Joseph Kabila visited Zambia on a working visit. During the visit, an unfortunate incidence involving the visiting the president’s motorcade occurred on Sunday, 18th February, 2018 at about 10:35 hours. The brief facts of the matter are as follows: His Excellency President Kabila’s motorcade was involved in a fatal road traffic accident on Leopards Hill Road, opposite the Saudi and French embassies. As the President was proceeding to the residence of the First Republican President, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, in the state lodge area, a driver of a Toyota Dyna registration number ACJ 8318, identified as Andrew Phiri, aged 35, of Twikatane compound in Lusaka, failed to obey police directives to give way to the oncoming presidential motorcade. To protect the motorcade, the presidential escort provided cover resulting in the collision with the Toyota Dyna,” Siliya stated.

“The driver in question, had together with other motorists been instructed by police officers manning the route, to divert to Petroda Filling Station on Leopards Hill Road, to give way to the presidential motorcade. He however opted to use the opposite lane and overtook about ten to fifteen vehicles whose drivers had obeyed the police instructions. The action by the driver of the Toyota Dyna endangered the life of the visiting Head of State, his entourage and members of the public, who were by and on the road.”

She stated that the accident would have been avoided if Phiri obeyed police orders.

“The incidence involving the motorcade of His Excellency the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo is extremely regrettable, as it could have been avoided, had the driver of the Toyota Dyna obeyed the instructions of the police. On behalf of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, I wish to convey sincere apologies to His Excellency, Mr Joseph Kabila and the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo,” stated Siliya.

“In view of this unfortunate incidence, motorists are strongly advised to always obey police instructions in accordance with the provisions of the Road Traffic Act number 11 of 2002. The Police Act, Chapter 107 of the laws of Zambia also gives power to the police, to control and regulate traffic. The driver of the Toyota Dyna in question therefore breached the provisions of the road traffic and the police acts. His actions must be condemned by all law abiding members of the public.”