LUNGU SUES GOVT FOR STOPPING HIM FROM TRAVELLING TO SOUTH KOREA
By Margaret Malenga
FORMER President Edgar Lungu has sued the state for denying him exit outside the country.
On Saturday, an immigration officer at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport stopped Lungu from travelling to South Korea where he was scheduled to speak at a peace summit, claiming that he had not been cleared by Cabinet Office.
But Lungu wondered why he should seek authorisation from Cabinet Office when the trip was privately funded and the government was not going to spend any money on it.
This is the second time government has stopped him from travelling out of the country within a space of one week.
A few days ago, the new dawn government stopped Lungu from travelling for medical review in South Africa.
And on September 17, 2023, Lungu filed in the Lusaka High Court, a statement in support of an exparte application for an order for leave to commence judicial review.
Lungu is asking the court to quash the immigration department’s decision.
‘’That on the 16th September, 2023 the Director General of Zambia Department of immigration through his officer namely Ms Linda Mtonga denied the Applicant herein exit out of Zambia to enable him to travel to South Korea on invitation to attend the Peace Summit. The reason for the refusal was that he can only travel upon being allowed to do so by cabinet office,’’ Lungu’s lawyers from Makebi Zulu advocates submitted. ‘’The Applicant therefore seeks to have the decision by the Zambia Department of Immigration to be quashed.’’
Lungu is seeking various reliefs, among them to quash the immigration department’s decision of stopping him from travelling out of the country.
‘’An Order of Certiorari to remove into this Honourable Court for the purpose of quashing the decision of the Director General of Zambia Department of Immigration when he purported to deny the Applicant exit out of Zambia into South Korea without according him any reasons save to state that he needed to be cleared by cabinet office a procedure that does not exist,’’ Lungu argued.
He raised various grounds on which he is seeking relief, among them that the state refunds him money spent on air tickets and other costs.
i) The decision of the Zambia Department of Immigration in so far as it denied the Applicant exit out of the Country to attend a summit in South
Korea without according to him any reasons save to state that he needed clearance from cabinet office a procedure that does not exist. ii) The decision of the Director General of Zambia Department of Immigration erred in law when he denied the Applicant exit out of the country contrary
to Article 22 of the Constitution of Zambia..,’’ Lungu said. ‘’B. IRRATIONALITY
(i) 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; (i) 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.
D. Further Grounds as contained in the Affidavit filed herewith;
E. An order to stay the decision of the Director General of Immigration;
F. A refund of the cost of the air tickets for the 13th and 14th June, 2022;