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What really happened at the Nc’wala traditional ceremony?

By Sishuwa Sishuwa

• Was Given Lubinda ordered to leave the Nc’wala traditional ceremony?

Lubinda was advised to leave the VVIP pavilion reserved for dignitaries, not the ceremony. The decision to leave the ceremony was independently made by the PF leadership, perhaps in protest at being asked to go and sit elsewhere.

• Who ‘chased’ Lubinda?

It was members of the President’s security detail. Hakainde Hichilema was not personally involved in the decision to remove Lubinda from the VVIP area. In fact, when he was briefed about what had transpired, the President reportedly expressed shock that his security detail could do such a thing. He even offered to meet Lubinda during the ceremony but was informed that the acting leader of the main opposition party had already left.

Since the President cannot escape responsibility for the actions of officers whom he appointed and who report to him, the buck ultimately stops at him.

• Wait, who is a VVIP?

Well, tags like VVIP, VIP or ordinary persons are not permanent. They are determined by event organisers. Any person, depending on the event and its organisers, can find themselves as VVIP or ordinary on a given day. Being a cabinet minister, for instance, does not automatically make one a VVIP or VIP. This explains why we have seen international events where ministers do not even make the list of those classified as VIP (forget VVIP). As stated, the event and its organisers decide who is what for any event based on the criteria set by themselves. Lubinda, in this case, was considered a VVIP by a member of the organising committee of the Nc’wala traditional ceremony.

• So, what triggered the incident?

It may have been the overzealousness of the President’s security detail. Note that Lubinda was properly seated, having been ushered in the designated area by a member of the Nc’wala organising committee in recognition of his position as leader of a political party.

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