PRESIDENT KENNETH KAUNDA BANS AIRPORT WELCOME CROWDS (August 1969)
By David Zulu.
About this time in 1969, President Kenneth Kaunda banned welcoming crowds for all VIPs, declaring that he wanted workers in Zambia, not loafers.
President Kaunda gave the directive after receiving persistent reports of absenteeism from offices in the civil service across the country who always abandoned official duties to travel to the airport to welcome him.
The President stated that some people had found a loophole to go to bars and clubs to drinks while others simply knocked off to their homes, thereby causing loss of man hours that cost the tax payers colossal amounts of money.
The President extended the ban to schools and ordered the Ministry of Education to ensure children remained in school instead of abandoning school to welcome him.
President Edgar Lungu is is increasingly receiving criticism from certain sections of society and encouraged to emulate what President Kenneth Kaunda did in 1969.
The Republican President has been accused of allowing disruption of official government business inorder for senior Government officials that includ Cabinet Ministers and civic leaders to travel to the airport to see him off, or welcome him on his numerous local and foreign trips.
Social commentators have drawn parallels between President Edgar Lungu’s welcoming parties and those of advanced nations like the US where the President is seen off by only a skeleton of his staff and and one senior security official.