Thabo Kawana, the Director Spokesperson at the Ministry of Information and Media, has refuted allegations that former President Edgar Lungu was prevented from traveling to South Korea by President Hakainde Hichilema. Mr. Kawana has clarified that such claims are rooted in misinformation and are not grounded in reality.
Speaking at a media briefing in Lusaka, Mr. Kawana emphasized that President Hichilema does not handle the affairs of the office of the former President. He reiterated that the Office of the 6th Republican President operates under constitutional provisions and is managed by the Cabinet Office. Therefore, matters related to the former President’s travel plans need to be addressed through the appropriate channels.
Mr. Kawana disclosed that the Office of the 6th President and the Cabinet Office are currently in discussions to resolve any existing issues. He further explained that, for security reasons, it is essential that the Cabinet Office is informed when the former President intends to travel abroad.
The Director of Spokesperson underlined the significance of notifying the Cabinet Office in advance, even in cases where the trip is sponsored by external parties. He emphasized that Edgar Lungu, as a repository of state secrets, holds information that is crucial for national security, and therefore, the government must be informed of his travel plans.
Mr. Kawana clarified that the government’s role is to ensure the safety and security of all its citizens, including former heads of state. If the state is unable to provide the necessary security measures for a particular trip, it may advise against the travel to protect the individual’s safety.