(By Salim Dawood and Melony Chisanga)
THE Zambian government has denied Kenyan Pan-African activist Professor Patrick Lumumba entry into the country, deporting him back to Kenya.
Prof Lumumba was supposed to be guest speaker at a scheduled public lecture discussing “Africa in the Age of China influence and global geo-dynamics” at the invitation of Eden University.
He was supposed to discuss a critical issue of Chinese investment that is spreading across the continent.
The KQ706 flight carrying Prof Lumumba touched down at KKIA around 12:05 hours.
Immigration officers stopped on arrival before being bundled back on the same flight that had brought him around midday.
Chief government spokesperson Dora Siliya said government, through the immigration department, “has denied entry into Zambia of Prof Patrick Lumumba, a Kenyan national due to security considerations”.
“Immigration is a security wing working with agencies within and beyond Zambia,” confirmed Siliya via Twitter.
Event organisers, Eden University executive director Kelvin Kaunda said he was not sure why his guest had been sent back.
“We will engage the authorities at the appropriate time. We are going to issue a comprehensive statement,” Kaunda said.
He said the authorities should have engaged them earlier before allowing the university spend money organising the event.
When he opened the third session of the Twelveth National Assembly a fortnight ago, President Lungu said Zambia would choose its friends at own terms.
And activist Maiko Zulu in a solidarity message said denial of entry and deportation of Prof Lumumba from Zambia had cast another dark cloud in Zambia’s road to democracy and Pan Africanism.
“We know that there is a crop of rulers of governments that is at the helm of selling the continent’s soul to Chinese and other foreign entities at the expense of future generations.
African people must wake up and realise that our continent is being stripped of its land, resources and cultural heritage with the help of some greedy and unpatriotic sellout leaders who have betrayed not only the present but also future generations of Africans through greedy and irresponsible governance and decision making,” he said.
“Time is now for AFRICA to UNITE and stop the economic colonialism that is ravaging our continent. To Prof Lumumba and all Pan Africanists, let us stand firm, organise and centralise because the enemy is within ourselves, our own brothers who have sided with the vultures.”
Zulu said there would he deaths, deportations, arrests, police brutality, miscarriage of justice and all sorts of struggles but like David in the Bible, “let us carry our sling and stone because the battle lines have been drawn. We have already lost so much for us to fear the dragons.”
“We need to draw inspiration from Selassie, Nkhruma, Nyerere, Lumumba, Kenyatta, Kaunda, Sankara and all revolutionaries who taught us that leaders should be servants of the people and not rulers of inequity,” said Zulu.