Presidential Spokesperson Amos Chanda and Chief Government Spokesperson, Dora Siliya have said that the Zambian Government has no apologies to make for the refusal by the Minister of Home Affairs to grant Kenyan Law Professor, Patrick Lumumba entry into Zambia. The the two stated categorically that Zambia is a sovereign state and reserved the right to allow or deny admission to any foreign national onto its soil.
Speaking at a joint press briefing held at the Ministry of information and broadcasting offices at the government complex in Lusaka yesterday morning, the two who took turns responding to various questions from Members of the Press, announced that the Minister of Home Affairs did not owe anyone an explanation for arriving at the decision to deny Lumumba entry into the nation as he had discretionary powers to do so in his position as Minister responsible for affairs of security in the nation.
Ms Siliya said that denying undesirable elements into the country was not unique to Zambia alone but that others countries where on record as having denied other nationals including Zambians entry into their boarders and that those countries too, did not owe anyone an explanation as to why they had done so.
“And if a person has a record of being inflammatory, disrespectful, plagiarism and wanting to shout corruption against others on top of their voice, it’s within the Ministers discretion to make the judgment as to allow them into the nation or not,” she said.
And Mr Amos Chanda said that security had many faces to it and that included observing accepted diplomatic tenets, stating further that in diplomacy there existed a rule of thumb that if there was a suspicion that a person was going to abuse another Head of State in a given nation, that nation had the responsibility not to admit such an individual into their boarders.
“If a Kenyan Professor wants to use Zambian soil to insult President Uhuru Kenyatta, this is unacceptable in diplomatic terms. First of all, he could be arrested because there is an old law still in existence that prohibits a person insulting a Head of State. We have a backlog of cases in court over such matters. We don’t want a foreigner to add to it. Furthermore, if Home Affairs got excerpts of what he was going to talk about which might have added to the Xenophobic rhetoric against the Chinese, Hon. Kampyongo could then have been left with no option but to act on it in his best Judgment, “said Mr Chanda.
He stated that even in open Societies like the European Union where there where no boarders, one had to report to an immigration officer upon arrival at the airport even though they where not required to use a Visa, for the officers to determine whether one could enter into a country or not.
I don’t think Hon. Kampyongo just wakes up and deports people. He is Minister responsible for National Security. Therefore if he denies someone entry into the country, then it must be for good reason.* Amos Chanda