Former Zambian President Edgar Lungu Challenges Travel Denial for World Peace Conference

by Oluwatosin Alabi

In a surprising turn of events, former Zambian President Edgar Lungu has taken legal action in the High Court of Lusaka after being denied permission to travel to South Korea for a world peace conference. Lungu and his wife, Esther Lungu, were scheduled to embark on their journey via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, but were abruptly informed of the cancellation of their trip by a protocol officer. The incident has stirred controversy, with the opposition Patriotic Front (PF) condemning the decision.

On Saturday, Lungu and his wife were ready to board their flight when they were informed that they lacked the necessary clearance from the Cabinet to leave the country. This news came as a shock to the former president, who had already received clearance and boarding passes. Emmanuel Mwamba, a spokesperson for the Zambian opposition PF, expressed his dismay over the situation, stating that “they were cleared properly, and bags were checked in. Boarding passes were issued, but afterwards, there was an uncomfortable delay.”

Shortly thereafter, a protocol officer approached President Lungu and delivered the disappointing news of the trip’s cancellation. Lungu and his legal team swiftly responded by filing a case in the High Court of Lusaka. In his legal challenge, Lungu has named Zambia’s Attorney General as the respondent and is seeking an order that invalidates the decision made by the Director General of Zambia’s Department of Immigration, which denied him permission to leave the country for the world peace conference.

Furthermore, Lungu is pursuing an order to suspend the Director General’s decision and is requesting a refund for the expenses incurred for the air tickets. The case is set to be heard by the High Court, with Judge Charles Zulu presiding, on Monday, September 18, 2023, in Lusaka.

This legal battle comes as a significant development in the life of Edgar Lungu, who served as Zambia’s sixth president until August 2021 when he was defeated by the incumbent President Hakainde Hichilema in the country’s presidential election. Since then, Lungu has continued to play a prominent role in Zambian politics, and this incident has drawn significant attention both domestically and internationally.

The circumstances surrounding the denial of travel permission remain unclear, and this legal case is poised to shed light on the matter. As the legal proceedings unfold, many will be closely watching to see how this dispute between the former president and the Zambian government ultimately plays out.

Source: Pindula

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