IT is impossible to stop Zambians from all walks of life from seeing President Edgar Lungu, even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, says Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Isaac Chipampe.

On Monday, a multitude of PF cadres flouted COVID-19 guidelines to witness the commissioning of the Makeni overpass.

Rather than enforce the COVID-19 prevention measures, President Lungu expressed delight at the presence of the PF cadres, most of whom were unmasked.

“Ladies and gentlemen and most important for me, fellow PF party cadres. We are here because of you. We shouldn’t lose sight of your presence. You made us what we are,” said President Lungu.

But reacting to widespread criticism in an interview, Chipampe said President Lungu was serious about the fight against COVID-19 although it was impossible for the Head of State not to interact with huge crowds at showpiece events because all stakeholders wanted to see him.

“The President is serious about COVID-19. The President was invited to that function and it was a public function as you know. So, it was almost impossible to stop people from coming to see the President, they wanted to see him. It was a public function, it was not in Nakatindi Hall or in some hotel it was outside. So, how are you going to stop people from coming to that function? The President was invited so if you want details about the organisations, ask the Ministry of Local Government, that was their function. You can’t expect the President to stop people from coming to that function,” said Chipampe.

“If you were the President yourself can you stop people from coming? Because the people lined up from Makeni up to Kamwala…can you stop them from coming to the road? Is it possible to stop people? The message has been sent to the people as you are aware the President has always spoken about COVID-19 and everyone knows there is COVID-19. He has been very consistent about it. But whether we will manage to stop people who want to see the President is another question.”