Kampyongo justifies barring of Prof Lumumba

 Kampyongo justifies barring of Prof Lumumba

By Inutu Mwanza in Ethiopia
Zambia is a sovereign state with laid down guidelines and procedures that should be followed when admitting visitors in the country, Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo has said.

The Minister was commenting on government’s decision to stop Kenyan Professor Patrick Lumumba from entering Zambia on Saturday.

He said Zambia, like any other country does not have absolute freedom in terms of admitting people who intend to visit, as there are rules and regulations to be considered, further stating that Zambia reserves the right not to explain why someone is denied entry into the country.

‘’Just a few weeks ago, Laura Miti , a Zambian activist was denied entry into South Africa, Do we surely have to ask the SA government why they denied her entry? No! the country reserves the right to either state or not state reasons for deportation, ’the Minister said.

‘’We do not micro manage anything, but govern by following laid procedures. And so, when such a decision was made, it was NOT the Minister’s decision per say, but governments decision, reflecting the correct interpretation of rules and regulations from concerned stakeholders.

Mr Kampyongo said the Immigration Act 18 of 2010 clearly stipulates the rules and procedures that should be followed by people who intend to come to Zambia.

The Minister was speaking in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia before transiting to Geneva to attend an annual Executive Committee meeting of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees-UNHCR- in Geneva.

He said the meeting was important to Zambia as the country was host to many refugees from around Africa.

The Minister said President Edgar Lungu as chair of the defense and security on the SADC organ TRIOKA was closely monitoring the situation in Congo and hoping for a peaceful election.

‘’Although Zambia is working hard in its capacity as SADC Chair for Peace and Security, to ensure a conducive and peaceful atmosphere, we cannot rule out the anticipation of an increase of refugees from Congo DR, if this is not certain’’, the Minister said.

Mr Kampyongo said while in Geneva, he will have several meetings, including a bilateral meeting with the High Commissioner of UNHCR to consider the issue of providing social amenities in refugee areas.

The Minister has also congratulated the Zambia Embassy in Ethiopia for the role it is playing in strengthening the voice of Zambia at the African Union.

With particular reference to an AU sponsored workshop that took place in Lusaka on the Amnesty month of September for the surrender of illegal weapons, the Minister expressed happiness that Media and Military personnel were enlightened on the importance of the Amnesty month.

Mr Kampyongo said Zambia was committed to ensuring that there was voluntary surrender of arms, which was why the Zambia police had attached a monetary gain for those who are willingly to surrender arms.

He further stated the police would soon launch a clean-up campaign with help from residents to collect Arms from those that will not surrender within the stipulated AU Amnesty month.

And Zambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Susan Sikaneta said Zambia had been recognized as one of the first African Countries that were taking the surrender of arms seriously.

She thanked President Edgar Lungu and the Zambian Government for all the guidance and efforts made that have resulted in Zambia being recognized for its prominent role in the AU flagship programme of Silencing the Guns in Africa.

Ms Sikaneta said the AU found it necessary to sponsor a workshop in Zambia owing to the work that Zambia was doing with regards the programme of silencing the Guns in Africa.

The Roadmap for the AU Flagship programme of silencing the Guns was crafted in Lusaka in 2016 during a meeting of the Peace and Security Council.

The writer is the First Secretary for Press and Tourism at Zambian Embassy in Ethiopia

The Independent Observer


John Sakala is a Journalist yearning for independent journalism

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