Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane has been prevented from entering Zambia to attend the treason trial of Hakainde Hichilema, detained president of Zambia’s largest opposition party.
Maimane says no valid reason was given to him as to why he was barred from entering the country.
Maimane chairs a body that coordinates oppositions parties in Southern Africa and says he was there to give support to another leader of the opposition.
Hichilema was accused of endangering President Edgar Lungu’s life when he refused to order his convoy to give way Lungu’s convoy on the country's road recently.
Hichilem is being charged with treason.
They said to me they are not obliged to give me any reasons or any law, I am simply not allowed to enter Zambia.— Mmusi Maimane, Leader of the DA
Initially the party that is in government now said I was trying to create a circus of their government.— Mmusi Maimane, Leader of the DA
As a constitutional body in South Africa and leader of the opposition party I am entitled and well within my right to give solidarity to other opposition leaders.— Mmusi Maimane, Leader of the DA
Maimane says immigration officers came to the plane as soon landed and told him he is denied entry into Zambia.
He says his colleagues that he was travelling with at the time were assaulted and their phones taken away from them.
After an hour of arguing they were served with new boarding passes and told they have been deported back to South Africa.
Maimane says he has asked the South African government to intervene in this regard.
Does this mean my rights to ever visit Zambia have been evoked? I need to know the reasons because nobody has furnished me with reasons as to why I cannot enter Zambia.— Mmusi Maimane, Leader of the DA
To hear more from leader of the DA Mmusi Maimane, listen below: