RB blocked from going to Kenya at airport
Former president Rupiah Banda has been blocked from travelling to Kenya.
Mr Banda, his wife and assistants were barred from boarding the plane today around nine hours.
Mr Banda told the Watchdog: ‘I am here at the airport just about to return home because we have been told we can’t travel’.
Immigration officials later told the Watchdog that they had received instructions from higher authorities not to allow Mr Banda to leave the country.
They said they knew that he had a court permission to travel but that they received instructions from ‘higher’ authorities to block him.
Sources at Kenneth Kaunda International airport said president Michael Sata himself instructed the immigration authorities not to allow Mr. Banda to board the plane this morning despite a court order to do so.
The Mutembo Nchito and Fred Mmembe cartel holding president Sata hostage phoned Mr. Sata currently in China to use his powers to block Mr. Banda’s departure for Kenya.
Yesterday, the Lusaka magistrate ordered the government to release the passport of former president Rupiah Banda so that he can join fellow dignitaries at the swearing-in of Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyata.
Mr Banda was given his passport on court order and was expected to fly to Nairobi this morning.
One of Mr. Banda’s sympathisers was heard saying with such treatment and judicial interference on the former president where people are even disregarding court orders, it is difficult to imagine how he will receive a fair hearing.
The PF government was not initially invited but after hearing that Mr Banda had been invited, they made frantic efforts to secure an invitation from the Kenyan government.
Ceremonial vice-president Guy Scott will travel to Kenya after the Zambian High Commission in Kenya managed to secure an invitation.
The release of Mr. Banda’s passport follows an application by his lawyers to compel Mutembo Nchito and his cartel to release it without fail.
Initially, the PF government tried to deny Mr. Banda the passport to attend the ceremony on the invitation of the Kenyan government and the Carter centre.