The Zambian government has effectively banned leader of the South African opposition party the Democratic Alliance from visiting the incarcerated UPND president Hakainde Hichilema. This has been done under the guise of a court order that we all know is a directive from state house. The following is a statement issued by the Zambian high Commission in Pretoria after they received notification of the DA leaders intention of travelling to Lusaka to visit his counterpart:
Pretoria- Wednesday 24th May 2017
Government has advised the leader of the South African opposition party, the Democratic Alliance(DA), Mr. Mmusi Maimane to reschedule his travel arrangements to Zambia until such a time that the Court would allow him to visit and meet his counterpart,Mr. Hakainde Hichilema.
Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa, His Excellency Mr. Emmanuel Mwamba disclosed that he had received official communication and request from Mr. Mmusi Maimane to visit United Party for National Development(UPND) incarcerated leader, Mr. Hakainde Hichilema.
Mr. Maimane intends to travel to Zambia but has been advised by the High Commission to do so after the Court clears and grants him authority to see Mr.Hichilema.
“We have received official communication from the leader of the opposition party, the Democratic Alliance(DA), Mr. Mmusi Maimane. He has informed us that he intends to travel to Zambia. He also informed us that he would use the opportunity to visit Mr. Hakainde Hichilema who is remanded in Prison” he said.
However Mr. Mwamba informed Mr. Maimane that a court order or directive was in place that restricted persons that should see Mr. Hichilema.
He stated that the Court directed the family to provide such a list to the Zambia Correctional Service.
“We have seen the list provided by the family to the authorities. This Order also affects other people including members of his party, that would like to see Mr. Hichilema. It is therefore prudent that an amendment or variation to the Court Order was obtained for the list to include Mr. Maimane”.
Mr. Mwamba thanked Mr. Maimane for the interest he had shown in Zambia’s Democracy and the rule of law. He also thanked him for his solidarity efforts to meet his opposition counterpart from Zambia.
“The restrictions on whom should see Mr. Hichilema arose from the Court Order and Directives. We have therefore, for purposes of Mr Maimane wishing to see Mr. Hichilema, advised that when authority has been sought or obtained through the Court, Mr. Maimane could travel to Zambia”
Mrs. Naomi Nyawali
First Secretary for Press& Public Relations
Zambia High Commission