DA leader Mmusi Maimane was refused entry into Zambia on Thursday. He was planning to attend the treason trial of detained president of Zambia’s largest opposition party, Hakainde Hichilema.
Hichilema is accused of treason for refusing to order his convoy to give way to President Edgar Lungu’s motorcade on the country's road recently.
Zambian High Commissioner to South Africa, Emmanuel Mwamba, says Maimane issued a statement prior that he is travelling to Zambia to pressure the courts to release Hichilema.
He adds that Maimane was also planning on rallying the region to ensure Hichilema was released.
In our country you cannot comment on matters that are in the courts, it is both prejudicial and subjudice. In fact it amounts to contempt of court. That is the decision that informed government to turn Mr Maimane away.— Emmanuel Mwamba, Zambian High Commissioner to South Africa
The are more than 35 flights flying into Zambia and we have never turned anyone away. This is an isolated incident and it should be treated as such.— Emmanuel Mwamba, Zambian High Commissioner to South Africa
Mr Maimane has been to our offices and we've had a wonderful discussion about his concerns and we had a discussion about the way he was treated and we talked about the way to move forward.— Emmanuel Mwamba, Zambian High Commissioner to South Africa
Mwamba says what is being reported in the media that Hichilema is charged with treason because he refused to move out of the way for Zambian president is not true. He says Hichilema's charges dates as far back as October last year and it is not just a single incident.
The facts are before court and it is important that we let that court process run its due course.— Emmanuel Mwamba, Zambian High Commissioner to South Africa
To hear more of this interview,listen below: