Former Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission director Patrick Lumumba was on Saturday denied entry into Zambia over what authorities said were security concerns.
Prof Lumumba had been invited to give a keynote speech during Eden University’s graduation ceremony. He was also scheduled to visit former President Kenneth Lusaka.
Zambian Minister for Information Dora Siliya tweeted that Lumumba was turned away due to security considerations.
She wrote; “Govt thru immigration dept 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.”
Despite being denied entry, Lumumba told AFP he was treated “with appropriate dignity.”
“I pose threat to no one. I travel all over Africa,” he said.
Lawyer Donald Kipkorir, in an open letter to Zambian President Edgar Lungu, said his learned friend was set to speak of how China has colonized Zambia.
“My friend was going to talk about the Colonization of Zambia by China. It wasn’t lost on you that PLO is a friend of the founder of Zambia. Kenneth Kaunda liberated Zambia but you have given away Zambia to China for 30 pieces of silver. China gave you loans that you knew poor and miserable Zambia can’t pay. Yet you secured the loans that you knew poor and miserable Zambia can’t pay,” wrote Kipkorir.
China is the main investor in Zambia as it is in several other African countries and with its offers of “unconditional” aid, most public tenders are awarded to Chinese bidders.
In Lusaka and across the country, China is busy constructing airports, roads, factories and police stations with the building boom largely funded by Chinese loans.
Zambian public debt is officially around $10.6 billion but suspicions have grown in recent months that the government is hiding its indebtedness — as happened in neighbouring Mozambique, which in 2016 was forced to admit it had kept secret $2 billion of borrowing.