STATE House says it has initiated diplomatic engagement with the Government of Rwanda to deal with allegations linking President Edgar Lungu to a rebel movement in that country that claims to have received funding from the Zambian leader to overthrow President Paul Kagame’s regime.
In a statement, Thursday, President Lungu’s Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations Isaac Chipampe said State House was concerned that the public in Zambia had escalated speculation around allegations linking President Lungu to terrorist financing in Rwanda, despite his office refuting the claims.
“State House is concerned that despite stating its position on allegations purported to have come out of a court trial in Rwanda, some citizens have continued to issue wild speculations and accusations on the matter. As stated on Tuesday, State House maintains that the allegations purported to have been submitted to a Rwanda Court are false and the Zambian Government is dealing with the mater through diplomatic channels with Rwanda. State House would, therefore, like to advise all citizens including the media to allow the due process of diplomacy take its course without speculations and further unwarranted allegations,” stated Chipampe.
According to Flightradar24.com, a website that records and stores aircraft movement data, the President’s old Challenger Jet, Registration number 9JONE, flew to Kigali Rwanda yesterday on an unknown mission.
The flight, whose manifest remains unclear, but did not include President Lungu who was appearing in public at State House Thursday, left Lusaka at 07:32 hours and landed in Kigali at 10:05 hours.
Flight data records show that the Challenger left Kigali at 18:40 hours and was yet to arrive at its next intended destination by press time at 20:00 hours. Flight time for the Bombardier CL604 Challenger between Lusaka and Kigali is approximately 2 hours, 30 minutes.
When called to clarify why the presidential challenger was in Rwanda yesterday, Chipampe ignored the query, stating that he had already issued a statement regarding the Rwanda issue.