Minister of National Development Planning Alexander Chiteme has claimed that there was no prior notice of President Lungu’s abrupt visit to South Africa because he may have travelled for a medical check-up.
Chiteme phoned in on Hot FM radio on Wednesday morning to defend Lungu as callers were questioning why Lungu has continued travelling out of Zambia after promising to cancel all his foreign trips for a year.
He said the fact that State House Press Aid Amos Chanda did not give prior notice of the trip suggested that the trip was private.
‘Amos announced Kazungula trip but not South Africa trip because maybe that was a private visit or he went for medical check-ups,’ Chiteme said.
Chiteme, who has nothing to do with foreign affairs issues further claimed that Lungu’s promise not to have foreign trips for a year still stands adding that he (Lungu) recently travelled to Rwanda because arrangements for the visit were made before his pronouncement to cancel foreign trips.
‘The trip to Rwanda was pre-arranged before he made the pronouncement not to travel for a year, the pronouncement not to travel will be as it is but prior commitments will continue,’ Chiteme claimed.
When asked why the president ‘sneaked’ out of the country without informing the nation, Chiteme responded that people should not be informed when the president travels for medical check-ups or private visits.
‘Should we tell people even when the president travels for a holiday or medical check-up? Chiteme hallucinated.