Power and Politics

Ex-President Lungu challenges order directing prior permission from govt before international travels


Ex-President, Edgar Lungu, has filed another lawsuit in Court, this time challenging the legality of the decision by government asking him to seek Cabinet approval before travelling out.

Lungu who has filed a petition in the Lusaka High Court, through his lawyers, Makebi Zulu Advocates, argued that there was no law anywhere which stated that he had to obtain authorisation from government to travel.

Read more: Ex-President Lungu gives govt 48 hours to rethink decision barring him from travel to South Korea

The petition arises from the decision by government to bar him from travelling to a World Peace summit in South Korea which was scheduled from September 18 to 20.

He had filed an application for Judicial Review of the said decision by government but withdrew on Monday after realising it would be an academic exercise as the date of hearing was set for September 25, 2023.

The petitioner has, therefore, sought an interim relief for a conservatory order directing the Immigration officers not to stop him from travelling.

Among the substantive reliefs was a declaration that the position by the State that he should seek permission before he could travel was illegal and not supported by law.

He also wants the court to declare that he was entitled to enjoy his right to movement and also paid damages for the embarrassment, mental torture and anguish he went through due to the said decision.

Lungu lamented that his botched trip caused him so much embarrassment in the eyes of the international community and those who invited him.

He said that his passport and that of his Aide De Camp were taken away and he was made to wait at the immigration office for a long time.

He stated that an immigration officer, one Ms Linda Mtonga said she had received instructions from the higher office that he not be allowed to travel, and if he so wished to do so, he obtains clearance from Cabinet office.

Lungu also described the decision of the Immigration office Director General as irrational, illegal and procedurally improper.

“That I am not a prisoner under house arrest nor have I had my rights and freedom of movement curtailed anywhere in Zambia or the world over,” his claim read.

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