Ex-Zambia President Edgar Lungu takes to court decision to bar him from travelling to South Korea

FORMER President Edgar Lungu has gone to court to challenge Government’s decision to prevent him from flying to South Korea for peace summit.

According to Court documents filed in the Lusaka High Court by his lawyer Makebi Zulu, on September 16, 2023, the Director General of Zambia Department of immigration through its officer namely Linda Mtonga denied Mr Lungu to exit Zambia to enable him to travel to South Korea on invitation to attend the Peace Summit.

Mr Zulu stated that the reason for the refusal was that he can only travel upon being allowed to do so by cabinet office.

“The Applicant therefore seeks to have the decision by the Zambia Department of Immigration to be quashed,” he submitted.

Mr Zulu said the decision of the Zambia Department of Immigration is illegal in so far as it denied the former President exit out of the country to attend a summit in South Korea without any reasons.

“That the decision of the Director General of Immigration to refuse the Applicant to travel on ground that he, the Applicant needed clearance from cabinet office a procedure that does not exist is Wednesbury Unreasonable; That the decision by the Director General of Immigration is in breach of his functions and duties under the immigration and deportation Act No.18 of 2010 of the Laws of Zambia,” he argued.

Mr Zulu further asked the court to stay the decision by the Director General of Immigration and order for a refund of the cost of the air tickets.

And in a statement sworn by the former Head of State, Mr Lungu said sometime in early September, this year, he received an invitation to attend a World Peace Summit in Seoul, South Korea.

He said the summit was sponsored in full by the inviting party and no money was spent by the Government of the Republic of Zambia.

“Premised on this appointment I proceeded to prepare myself for travel and I was scheduled to travel on the 16th September, 2023 via Ethiopian Airways which was to depart at about 15 hrs. From Lusaka. That my passport is valid and I have used the same for travels elsewhere to foreign countries and I have a letter of invitation for the said summit. Now shown and produced is a copy of my passport and the letter of invitation,” he said.

Mr Lungu said on the 16th September he proceeded to the airport immigration check point where he was stopped from traveling as the officers informed him that they were making calls as to whether I could travel or not.

“I was then advised by the immigration officer to wait for a go ahead from their superior. That moments later a Ms Linda Mtonga came through and informed me that there was an instruction from the “High office” to not allow me to travel and that I could only travel with permission from cabinet office.

I thereafter made an inquiry as to why that instruction had been given and which higher officer was being referred to but the said Ms Linda Mtonga told me that she could not disclose the name of the person that gave the instruction and what she said was enough. I am advised by my Advocates and verily believe the same to be true, that the decision of the Director General of Immigration or whoever made the decision is unreasonable, illegal and procedurally improper,” he said.


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