US summons Simbyakula, as sanctions loom over Biti

Dr Ngosa Simbyakula: File picture

The United States has summoned Dr. Ngosa Simbyakula, the Zambian Ambassador to that country, in the wake of the “deportation” scandal involving the MDC leader Tendai Biti.

In a strongly worded statement, the US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said the US government will be discussing this matter with President Edgar Lungu and reviewing certain aspects of its cooperation with the Zambian government.

“The United States government is gravely concerned by credible reports of numerous detentions, beatings, and other abuses of Zimbabweans over the past week, particularly targeting opposition activists. There should be no role for violence, intimidation, or harassment in the new Zimbabwe. We are also deeply concerned that Zambia chose to hand over former Minister of Finance Tendai Biti to the Zimbabwean authorities, and in the face of a reported Zambian court order blocking his expulsion from Zambia.” Ms Nauert said.

She added that the decision was particularly disheartening given the courage that Zambia showed in sheltering thousands of Zimbabwean freedom fighters from Rhodesian aggression in the days of Zimbabwe’s independence struggle.

“We will be discussing this matter with Zambia’s leaders and reviewing certain aspects of our cooperation with the Zambian government.” She said.

         

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