The Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) has echoed other CSOs’ condemnation in strongest terms Government’s decision through the immigration department to deny entry into the Country Kenyan lawyer and renowned pan-Africanist Professor Patrick Lumumba.
The Zambian Government on Saturday denied entry and sent back Kenyan lawyer and renowned pan-Africanist Professor Patrick Lumumba.
Prof. Lumumba was sent back by Immigration officials shortly after he landed at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka over the weekend.
He was due to deliver a public lecturer on China-Africa relations on Saturday evening at Eden University.
Chief Government Spokesperson Dora Siliya confirmed in a tweet that Prof. Lumumba was deported because he posed a security threat.
And reacting to the sending away of Prof. Lumumba, CCZ General Secretary Fr Emmanuel Chikoya said all well-meaning Zambians must condemn in strongest terms the trend by the PF Government of deporting renowned figures that come into the country to share ideas that can be beneficial to the country.
Fr Chikoya says it is sad that the Zambian Government finds it comfortable allowing into the country individuals with questionable reputations like Rhumba Musician Koffi-Olomide yet denying entry and sending back think-tanks like Prof. Lumumba that mean well for the continent of Africa.
Fr Chikoya has rebuked the PF Government’s incessant attraction to only individuals that sing praises for them while repelling everyone with dissenting views adding that this is not helpful to the Government.
He says every Government needs dissenting views that serve as criticism. He emphasized that criticism is health for any institution that desires to move from one level to another.
He says in May last year the same PF Government denied entry into the country and sent back South African opposition leader Mmusi Maimane who had come to attend his Zambian opposition counterpart UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema’s court appearance that was due the following morning.
Fr Chikoya further recalls that the same PF Government denied Zimbabwe opposition leader Tendai Biti asylum into the country last month.
He says all these similar developments are denting the image of Zambia as a haven of peace and security in the Southern African region.
He has since called upon the PF Government to stop denying entry into the country individuals that do not have any criminal record as the trend is becoming unacceptable.
Meanwhile, Fr Chikoya is glad to announce to the nation that the Council of Churches in Zambia has elected United Church of Zambia (UCZ) Synod Bishop Reverend Sydney Sichilima as its new President.
Bishop Sichilima was elected on Monday, September 24 2018 at the just ended CCZ 31st General Conference that was held at Fatmols Lodge in Ndola.
Bishop Sichilima takes over from Bishop Dr Alfred Kalembo who successfully served his two terms of office as CCZ President.