Deportation of Prof. Lumumba shame to the country – HH

By Staff Reporter


UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema says the deportation of Professor Patrick Lochi Otieno Lumumba has brought unnecessary shame to Zambia.

Commenting on the PF government’s move to deport Prof Lumumba, an internationally renowned academician and a pan-Africanist, at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka on Saturday, Hichilema stated on his Facebook page that the action was confirmation of the PF government’s despotic being.

“We have studied the issue surrounding the deportation of a highly respected academician and pan Africanist Prof PLO Lumumba and we do not agree with it,” Hichilema stated.

“We find the action by the PF leadership to humiliate him in such a manner at the airport highly irresponsible, harsh, and goes further to confirm what we have been saying that this government is led by despots.”

He wondered what risk Prof Lumumba posed on Zambia “as being claimed by the despotic PF regime.”

“Our country and the world is aware that this oppressive government has deported other citizens of the world in a similar illegal manner such as Mmusi Maimane, a South African opposition leader, Tendai Biti, another opposition leader from Zimbabwe, Cuban Ambassador to Zambia and other foreign personalities,”  Hichilema stated.

He added that such deportations of certain foreign dignitaries was what was denting the country’s image.

“From what we understand, Prof Lumumba has been giving intellectual discourse in many parts of the world, the recent (one) being in Zimbabwe at an event which we understand even cabinet ministers attended. So, what security risk does Prof Lumumba pose to Zambia as being claimed by the despotic PF regime,” he stated.

“To us, the people who pose security risks are the foreigners who are grabbing our land, grabbing our State assets at the expense of Zambians.”

He stated that Zambia was an integral member of the global community and that as such, “one would expect that the PF government would treat nationals from other countries with respect, dignity and decorum they deserve.”

“This is a minimum legal and civil requirement in addition to being a matter of good order, diplomatic relations and security for our citizens who are resident in other countries,” Hichilema stated, asserting further that the UPND valued fundamental freedoms of speech, conscious, association and other liberties as enshrined in local and international conventions “to which we are signatories.”

“This PF regime is causing unnecessary shame to our country in the face of the whole world.”

Hichimema stated that the deportation of Prof Lumumba, a Kenyan, was illegal and that it should be “rescinded immediately and allow him to continue with his business if he so wishes.”