The drama around President Edgar Lungu being shunned by South Africa opposition leaders Mmusi Maimane and Julius Malema make very embarrassing reading. So often the President’s handlers have received credit for managing to push a polished image of him. His handlers have managed to package his dress sense making him an embodiment of flawlessness.
But the same cannot be said about how smart they have been in handling his public relations and diplomatic affairs. The President has needlessly been encouraged to make acquaintance with some of Africa’s loathsome personalities.
They have done little to check what image has become of him among his peers but keep sending him from one dictatorship strong man to the next. But the manner they threw him into the lion’s den when the meeting for Maimane who was denied entry into Zambia and has been spearheading demonstrations in South Africa against the Zambian government and Malema whose loathe for Lungu and his regime is a matter of public record is sad.
Once the meeting was announced the President’s media team led by flagrantly excited individuals that at the drop of the hat flood the media with needless statements went to town.
They went to town imagining they had scored a diplomatic coup but embarrassingly bungled the whole affair. Once Malema and Maimane shunned President Lungu the Head of State’s handlers could not come up with a discernible explanation.
With Malema and Maimane relishing for an opportunity to hit back at President Lungu, no doubt his handlers who are paid a lot of money to keep his image polished handed the President an embarrassing episode.
To have had a Head of State moving hotels running away from picketers tells a lot about how badly a job was done by people on the ground.
While they go about excitedly proving their relevance on social media they better have an explanation otherwise it may have easily been a calculated move to embarrass President Lungu.
Surely such incidences call for tough decisions if people paid handsomely to maintain the dignity of the Presidency only dream of enhancing their wardrobes or littering social media with ego trips they must as well be replaced by others worth of the dignity of the office.