The President is very vulnerable when he travels and the motorcade is meant to ensure his safety. Hichilema put the life of President Lungu in danger when he refused to give way to the Presidential motorcade.
Presidential motorcade security personnel are highly trained and heavily armed. Hichilema should be grateful to President Lungu for not following the American Presidential motorcade model. The decision to ignore Hichilema’s provocation and overtake his convoy saved countless lives.
The American model: “No messing around when it comes to US President motorcade”
“When the US President travels, the world stands still”, “No messing around when it comes to US Presidential motorcade” – this is how international media describes US President’s motorcade.
The President of the United States rides in the motorcade in a Limousine known as the Beast, which is designed to withstand bullets and chemical attack. The Presidential motorcade includes 20 to 30 cars full of Guns and agents. Up to 30 Motorbikes make sure no others vehicles are cluttering the road. In February 2017, The Sun calculated that the travel costs alone are about $3,400 per minute for a US president.
And what happens when you try to cut off US President’s motorcade? In June 2016, a New York City resident tried to ride a bicycle in front of President Barack Obama’s motorcade. A Police officer grabbed the man and knocked him off the bike onto the ground. Other policemen grabbed the bicyclist’s arm and twisted it behind his back, rolled him over until he was face down, stuck a knee in his back and cuffed him as a Secret Service agent walked over to observe. President Obama’s motorcade rolled past during the arrest, to applause.
Let’s just imagine what would happen if not a bicyclist, but the convoy of a politician who refuses to respect the rule of law and electoral proceedings obstructed the US President’s motorcade.
Anywhere in the world, blocking the Presidential Motorcade is a very serious offence. Hichilema’s acts were irresponsible and criminal. What happened in Mungu was treason.
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