DEFENCE Minister Davies Chama says President Edgar Lungu’s enemies are linking him to a rebel movement in Rwanda that claims to have received funding from him to overthrow that country’s government.
And President Lungu’s Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations Isaac Chipampe says State House does not want to delve into details on the matter because it is still in court.
In an interview, Chama charged that there were criminal elements that were bent on fabricating falsehoods to destabilize independent sovereign nation-states.
“There is no truth to that allegation. I can speak on very firm ground that Zambia can never ever in its existence support any activities to destabilize a friendly country. Rwanda and Zambia enjoy very cordial relations even though we don’t share a common border, but we are both members of the Great Lakes Region. So, we can never destabilize a country like Rwanda that is making so much progress in Africa. There are so many criminal elements, who want to destabilize countries that are making progress, Zambia is also making progress. So, they are not happy that Zambia and Rwanda are making progress. There are a lot of enemy elements, who are being planted to make these falsehoods and we must be careful what we get, especially from criminal elements,” Chama said.
But when asked why President Lungu was one of the Presidents singled out, Chama said the Head of State had a lot of enemies.
“When you are making progress, there are a lot of enemies. Even you, there are people who hate the way you look, the way you talk and somebody can fabricate a story about you. They will hate you for nothing. So, it’s part of life. For us, it is very criminal and we wish to warn people who are peddling lies and criminality in order to destabilize countries. We have our own intelligence to refer to, to make sure that we scrutinize that these are falsehoods,” said Chama.
And in a separate interview, Chipampe said whatever was said in the courts of law was not gospel truth.
“We need to be very careful with that one because it is a court issue. So, we shouldn’t say too much. That is why if you noticed my statement, it was very brief. The reason is that whatever is said in court is not gospel truth until judgement is done and investigations are done. But from our side, we have taken keen interest because these are serious allegations, which have been said in court. But for our part, we will respect the independence of their courts. So, we will wait until their process ends to hear how that case goes. For now, we are not going to say too much because it is a court case and as you know, court cases, you don’t start commenting on them,” said Chipampe.
According to media reports from Rwanda, rebel leader Maj Nsabimana Sankara Calliixte told the High Court for International and Cross-border Crimes Court, Monday, that his group was facilitated by the Zambian President to launch attacks in Rwanda
He testified that his group, the National Liberation Force (FLN), received money from President Lungu to launch attacks in Rwanda.
Maj Sankara, who faces 17 charges including terrorism and murder, was appearing before court for hearing a case in which some of the victims of the rebel group’s attack were seeking compensation for the suffering inflicted on them.
Before the case commenced, Maj Sakara reportedly requested to be allowed to tell the Court about funding his group got from one of the Presidents of a country he didn’t want to mention.
Chimpreport.com reports that the presiding judge granted him the opportunity and asked him to name the country and the President so that those seeking compensation also get to know.
He said towards the end of 2017, President Lungu agreed to support opposition politician and leader of MRCD, the political wing of FLN Paul Rusesabagina, to topple President Paul Kagame and immediately offered US $150,000 for the cause.
President Lungu was in Rwanda for a two-day State visit in February, 2018.
“Early 2019, before I was arrested, one Nsengiyumva Appolinaire, a leader of PDR, one of the many political parties that form MRCD, travelled to Zambia to meet Lungu to discuss how he would offer them more support,” Maj Sankara told the Court.