By Venus N Msyani
What could be the reason why President Hakainde Hichilema left Umutomboko before ukutomboka?
President Hakainde Hichilema was invited to officiate at this year’s Umutomboko Traditional Ceremony of Lunda people of Mwansabombwe in Luapula Provinve, which he honored.
Unfortunately, the president didn’t witness the core ritual of the ceremony. He left before it took place and it has left the public debating.
PF Member of the Central Committee Chishimba Kambwili put a blame on United Party for National Development (UPND) officials. Particularly those who come from Luapula Province.
In a voice posted on YouTube Kambwili is heard arguing that Hichilema’s advisors from Luapula should have properly informed him about Umutomboko.
Kambwili says without witnessing the ritual, which is a dance by the chief (Mwata), one has not attended Umutomboko. In short, Kambwili is saying HH didn’t attend Umutomboko.
On what he calls Direct Talk on his Facebook, Economic and Equity Party (EEP) president Chilufya Tayali has revealed that his source has informed him that the president left Umutomboko early because there are no lights at the airport at night.
Meaning if the president didn’t leave before dark, he would have been forced to spend the night in Luapula, which would have affected his next day schedule. He was to officiate the opening of the 94th Agriculture and Commercial Show in Lusaka the following day.
It doesn’t make much sense. It is about one hour thirty minutes travel from Mwansabombwe to Lusaka by air.
Agriculture and Commercial Show official opening normally takes place after 8am. Meaning if the president left Mwansabombwe by daybreak the following day, he would still have managed to officiate the opening of the show.
Past record drives me to a deferent conclusion. Few months ago, it was alleged that Hichilema instructed state security to eject PF acting president Given Lubinda and his team from Nc’wala Traditional Ceremony of the Ngoni in Eastern Province.
Implying that Hichilema finds it uncomfortable to mingle with the opposition. To be specific, members of the Patriotic Front (PF).
The just ended Mutomboko ceremony was swarmed by Patriotic Front (PF) officials. Davis Mwila, Raphael Nakachinda, Richard Musukwa, Nickson Chilangwa, and the rest.
They appears to be the main reason why President Hichilema left the ceremony prematurely. Ejection of Lubinda and his team at Nc’wala caused a lot of criticism from the public. Hence, Hichilema could not play the same at Umutomboko. The best he could do was to leave.
After Nc’wala, HH has attended a number of traditional ceremonies. Including the most popular one, Kuomboka. No report of the president departing at the middle of the ceremony has been heard. The reason is because presence of PF officials in those ceremonies has been low. Not high enough to intimidate Hichilema.The swarm of PF officials at Umutomboko was to much for him.