The Gentle Giant Dies…

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George Lungu

By Dickson Jere

He was dark-skinned, tall, huge and masculine.
His blooded eyes were scary! And rarely did I see him smile!
He always walked military-style behind the President who was equally big but dwarfed by the stature of his Aide-de-Camp (ADC). He was one of the highly trained officers from the elite squad of presidential guards stationed at State House.
“Ona icho…” the President often joked in appreciation of his ADC.

He worked with four of the six Presidents of Zambia after he was trained by the Koreans during the first government of President Kenneth Kaunda. Until he was appointed ADC to then Vice-President Rupiah Banda, the huge man was always in the background of presidential security for Presidents Kaunda, Frederick Chiluba, Levy Mwanawasa and later Rupiah Banda when he ascended to the presidency.
“I have never worked anywhere in my life apart from State House,” he once told me during our induction.
He knew State House well and every detail was on his palm. He was the Presidents’ confidante!

We traversed the country and the world together. Very professional and gentle in his handling of state affairs but at the same time ruthless if you ever try to put the President life in danger.
Journalists will remember his strong arms which he used effectively to block them from getting close to the President. To him, journalists were my people and blamed me for their behavior.
“Tell your people Mr. Jere not to get too close to the President…I will react and break their cameras,” he would say before forcing a rare smile on his face.

The giant of a man was George Lungu!
He served the country with distinction before he was retired by President Michael Sata in 2011. But even after his retirement, he was always available to assist when called upon. Such was a man we have lost. Go well my brother, go well GL!

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31