Saturday, March 17, 2007

My deportation from Malawi is political - Sata

My deportation from Malawi is political - Sata
By Christopher Miti in Chipata
Saturday March 17, 2007 [02:00]

MY deportation from Malawi is political, opposition Patriotic Front president Michael Sata has claimed. And Eastern Province police commanding officer Emlyn Mushondwa said there was nothing tangible in Sata's deportation from Malawi. When asked to comment on his deportation on Thursday night in Chipata, Sata responded: "It's nothing mwana (my friend), it's just politics."

Sata, who said he was on his personal business in Malawi, arrived at Mwami border post around 23:18 hours in a Malawian immigration vehicle registration number CZ 1731. He was immediately led to the immigration offices where he was interviewed for almost an hour. "I started off at Lusaka International Airport at 12:20 hours and arrived at Chileka Airport in Blantyre at 14:10 hours. Somebody told me that he had been told to take me back to Mwami border so we started off at 16:00 hours," Sata said.

He said his passport was date-stamped in Lusaka, but the Malawian immigration officers at Chileka Airport refused to stamp it. "There is nothing wrong that I have done. Under normal circumstances, the Zambian High Commissioner in Malawi should have known if there was something. May be you are harassing me because your defence minister (George Mpombo) said you are going to pounce on me," Sata said. He said Zambian politics had dented other professions. "The political climate in Zambia has dented a lot of professions. I know some politicians want to pollute other countries with such issues. Now if they are going to do that we will be embarrassed as Zambians," he said.

Sata told the Malawian immigration officers who drove him from Blantyre to Mwami border that he would ask Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika why he was deported. "Bingu has given me a good driver (immigration driver Sachi Chizeya), Levy tampelako na GX but Bingu ampela nafi fuel fyakwe (Levy has never given me a GX but Bingu has even given me his GX and a lot of fuel)," Sata said.

Eastern Province immigration officer Patrick Mumba and some other security officers interviewed Sata for over an hour. After the interview at the boarder, Sata remarked: "Ba Mumba naba Mpombo (Ministry of Home Affairs permanent secretary Peter Mumba and defence minister George Mpombo) mwaloba ilya uma (literally translating 'Mr Mumba and Mr Mpombo you have failed to achieve your goal')." And Eastern Province PF chairperson Solomon Mbuzi took Sata in his vehicle after he refused to use a Zambia police vehicle to take him to the police station.

At the police station, Eastern Province police commanding officer Emlyn Mushondwa communicated to the Inspector General of police Ephraim Mateyo and later apologised to Sata for the inconvenience caused. But in his reply, Sata said there was no need for Mushondwa to apologise saying that it was good that he was taken to the police station to see how dilapidated the ceiling board at the inquiries desk was so that he could talk about it in his meetings. Intelligence and armed police officers went to receive Sata at Mwami border post. And Mushondwa said there was nothing tangible in the whole issue.



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