Immigration authorities in Zambia today stopped South African leader of opposition Democratic Alliance Mmusi Maimane from entering the country to attend Hakainde Hichilema’s treason court case tomorrow.

Maimane arrived after 17:00 hours aboard a South African Airlink plane, but was not to process his immigration requirements for entering the country.

Commenting on the development, Zambia’s former ruling party president Nevers Mumba said the move had worsened the country’s dented image.

“The Patriotic Front Government has denied DA leader Mmusi Maimane entry into Zambia.They stopped the delegation from deplaning and they forced the plane to fly back to South Africa. We consider this action to be drastic, draconian and further pushes Zambia at the bottom of civilized democracies in Africa,: Mumba said.

“MMD condemns this action and regrets that our nation is isolating itself from the family of democratic and progressive nations. This breach against South Africa shall injure our country in many ways. South Africa is our greatest trade partner and a member of the SADC family of nations. It is even more embarrassing to take such a desperate step on Africa Freedom Day.”

Mmusi Maimane had travelled to Zambia in order to attend court on tomorrow in solidarity of incarcerated leader of the UPND.