Libongani not entitled to police motorcade escort

Inspector General of Police Stella Libongani is such a junior civil servant as to be entitled to a police motorcade escort, former secretary to cabinet Skeshly Sacika has charged.

He said unless the law regarding police escort has changed, Ms Libongani’s actions amount to abuse of office and authority.

Mr Sacika said it was highly likely that no one in government had authorized Ms Libongani to accord herself an escort motorcade because she was only a head of department whose conditions of service did not include enjoying the status of a very important person (VIP)

Mr Sacika said the only citizens in the country entitled to enjoy police escort and the police blue band were the President of the Republic of Zambia and the Vice-President.

He said it was irregular for Ms Libongani to be blazing sirens wherever she was going.

Mr Sacika told the Daily Nation that when he was in service as secretary to cabinet, only the President and his vice were accorded the luxury of police escort and that people like Ms Libongani could never have been allowed to enjoy such status.

He stated that police escort was a symbol of status and that being Inspector General of Police did not place Ms Libongani among the citizens falling in the bracket of very important persons.

Mr Sacika explained that Ms Libongani as a civil servant was no more important than the Chief Immigration Officer and that the two reported to the Permanent Secretary who in turn was responsible to the Minister.

He stated that it was highly irregular for Ms Libongani to be allowed to be abusing police officers when her superiors such as the permanent secretary and the Minister did not have such privileges.

“Things may have changed but as far as I know, comrade Libongani is not entitled to a police motorcade escort. I recall that at no time did we have the Inspector General of Police have the privilege of having a police escort. The Inspector General of Police is such a junior civil servant just like the Chief Immigration officer. These two are heads of departments and they work to the Permanent Secretary who works to the Minister. Police escort is an exclusive privilege of the President and the Vice-President. It is highly likely that comrade Libongani is abusing her office and authority,” Mr Sacika said.

He explained that during the UNIP rule, the only citizens who were allowed to have police motorcade escort were Dr Kenneth Kaunda who was the President, Grey Zulu, secretary general, the prime minister and the secretary of defence and security.

Mr Sacika said status and protocol did not allow a civil servant like Ms Libongani to be competing with her appointing authority adding that it was important for her actions to be investigated because it was a breach of the system.

Mr Sacika said this was the first time in the country’s history that a junior civil servant at the rank of an Inspector General of Police had been seen being accorded the privileges of the President and his deputy.

He said it should be observed that the motorcade of President Michael Sata was bigger than his vice-president and wondered how tight Ms Libongani’s motorcade was. He said it was important for all concerned to find out if Ms Libongani had been allowed to accord herself a police escort motorcade which was an exclusive presidential privilege. Last week, Ms Libongani aides assaulted Senanga United Party for National Development (UPND) member of Parliament Likando Mufalali in Kapiri Mposhi for merely driving behind her (Libongani) police motorcade.

Ms Libongani’s aides attacked Mr Mufalali while she (Libongani) was watching and police in Lusaka and Kabwe have refused take a report from the Parliamentarian.