National Democratic Congress (NDC) Secretary General Mwenya Musenge has challenged government to explain how Congolese politician Moise Katumbi was issued with a Zambian diplomatic passport.

But Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda says government will not make any comment on the matter as it will not be right to engage the DRC government via social media.

In a statement yesterday, Musenge charged that the rumours surrounding the alleged issuance of a diplomatic passport to Katumbi must be clarified immediately and demanded that Home Affairs Minister Steven Kampyongo be fired if he has a hand in the issuance of the same passport.

“We want government to urgently clarify the alleged issuance of a diplomatic passport to Congolese politician Mr. Moise Katumbi because it has the potential to compromise national peace and security. If indeed, it is true that Mr. Katumbi is the holder of passport number… we want to know how he got the said documentation. As a party, we shall not gloss over this matter until those who issued the said passport are brought to book. As a party, we have nothing personal against Moise Katumbi as an individual but we have just commented on this matter because it raises a lot of questions that require urgent answers. Zambia should not and shall never be used as a safe haven for foreigners,” Musenge stated.

“If Mr. Katumbi indeed holds a Zambian passport, we wonder how many other foreigners such as Chinese have Zambian passports. If Mr. Katumbi has a Zambian passport, we demand for a clean up at the passport office. We further demand that all officers who are behind Mr. Katumbi’s passport be arrested and prosecuted. If Home Affairs Minister Steven Kampyongo has a hand in the issuance of this passport, we demand that he be fired by the appointing authority. The NDC demands that the authenticity of this matter be clarified by the Ministry of Home Affairs immediately. We further demand for a clarification from the Ministry of Home Affairs on how Mr. Katumbi was issued a Green National Registration Card (NRC).”

And Musenge appealed to the Congolese government to clarify on the issue of dual citizenship in the DRC.

“The NDC is also appealing to the Congolese Government to clarify on the issue of dual citizenship in the DRC. We further want our Congolese counterparts to assist us with information if they are aware that Mr. Katumbi actually holds Zambian citizenship. Mr. Katumbi rose to prominence in the 1990s under the Fredrick Chiluba regime under the name Moses Katumbi. Moses Katumbi also claimed to be Dr. Chiluba’s relation. He went further and claimed he was a relation to one of the Royal Highnesses in Luapula Province. After Dr. Fredrick Chiluba was arrested for corruption, Moses Katumbi unceremoniously left Zambia. He later appeared in the Congo as Moise Katumbi and became Governor for Katanga province. As a country, we may differ politically, but, we should not allow foreigners to hijack and take over our country.n We have only one Zambia and we as citizens should safeguard this country from any foreign emissaries and aggressors,” stated Musenge.

But when asked to comment on the matter at a media briefing at State House yesterday, Chanda declined to give any comment but acknowledged that Katumbi had lived in Zambia for about 20 years.

“I got a question as I was coming, from one International media organization about an online picture of Mr Katumbi’s passport purported to be Zambian. I have said that it would be out of character for the Zambian government to engage a foreign government through social media, so on that point we have no comment. Suffice to say that we know officially that the Congolese government issued an arrest warrant against His Excellency Mr Moise Katumbi, former governor of Katanga Province, and that warrant clearly states that it must be executed anywhere in the world, clearly against a Congolese national. That is what we can say there, is an official document saying that he is a Congolese national, we also saw another document from the government spokesperson (of Congo) saying that Mr Katumbi is an Italian, that was last month,”
said Chanda.

“I can only state here that Mr Katumbi lived here for close to 20 years, and that he is a Congolese national officially. We have dealt with him and we have seen a lot of documents signed by him as governor of Katanga Province. So we are not making any comment on that, it is against diplomatic relations with a friendly neighbor like Congo for us to engage in a social media exchange so to speak. There are elections in Congo like there were elections in Zimbabwe. We saw texts and texts of newspaper cuttings that President Mnangagwa was Zambian, so the electoral season does bring about so many things. So officially, we have no comment on that matter.”