The Zambia High Commission to South Africa has informed South Africa’s foreign Ministry known as Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO, that Opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane presence at the Zambian courts was going to undermine integrity of the Zambian Judiciary.
In a statement released to the media by Naomi Nyawali, First Secretary Press Public Relations Zambia High Commission to South Africa, the Zambia embassy said that they told the South Africa Government during a meeting that hat the matters regarding Mr. Hichilema were in court and it was imperative that the due process of the law was respected without undue pressure or interference.
Below is the full statement
MAIMANE’S PRESENCE WAS GOING TO UNDERMINE INTEGRITY OF THE JUDICIARY.
PRETORIA- Friday 26th May 2017 The Zambia High Commission to South Africa has informed the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) that Opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane was turned away from Zambia as his presence was going to undermine the sanctity, integrity and independence of the Judiciary.
During the meeting between DIRCO officials and His Excellency Mr. Emmanuel Mwamba, Zambia stated that the matters regarding Mr. Hichilema were in court and it was imperative that the due process of the law was respected without undue pressure or interference.
Government was concerned with Mr. Maimane’s and the DA’s media statements prior to his visit to Zambia that stated that his party would pressure the Courts of the Law to release Zambia’s opposition leader, Mr. Hakainde Hichilema who is currently undergoing a treason trial.
Mr. Maimane alleged that Mr. Hichilema was facing trumped up charges and therefore he would mobilize fellow regional opposition sister parties and leaders to pressure the Zambian courts to release Mr. Hichilema.
The Zambian High Commission had earlier advised Mr. Maimane to reschedule his visit until this and other concerns were resolved but clearly turned down such an advice.
And the High Commission has informed DIRCO that Zambian authorities advised Mr. Maimane to return to Johannesburg upon landing at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA) at 17:40hrs. Zambia as a sovereign state, can determine persons to allow entry into the country.
Zambia continues to have mutual and admirable diplomatic relations and cooperations with South Africa based on the historical, economic and social ties between the two countries. And His Excellency Mr. Mwamba said that this is demonstrated by factors as: Zambia was South Africa’s top ten trading partner and the volume of movement of people, goods and services between the two states was one of the highest in the region.
This is also demonstrated by South African Airways that takes about 35 flights a week to Zambia, besides other carriers. Zambia’s democratic credentials and processes remain admirable in Africa and the respect for the rule of the law is at the heart of its democratic growth.