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Former Zambian President drags govt to court over ‘travel ban’

Zambia’s former President, Edgar Lungu, has taken legal action against the government after he was purportedly prevented from traveling to South Korea for a conference.

It is alleged that Mr. Lungu had received an invitation to attend a world peace conference, but as he was preparing to depart, he was denied access to his plane due to a lack of government clearance for the trip.

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Mr. Lungu has initiated a judicial review in the Lusaka High Court, where he is contesting the government’s decision to obstruct his travel to South Korea, as indicated in the court documents he has submitted.

His political party, the Patriotic Front (PF), has criticized the government’s alleged actions, deeming them illegal.

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“If he is invited and the trip is paid for or he can meet the cost of his own trip and that of his entourage, he doesn’t need to inform governments,” argued Emmanuel Mwamba, the PF’s spokesperson.

Mr. Mwamba stated that the former president had encountered travel restrictions for a medical journey on a previous occasion, even though he had previously sought permission from the cabinet office.

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“These draconian and dictatorial actions are a violation of fundamental rights of the former president and have no place in true democracy,” he said.

Mr. Lungu was defeated by the incumbent Hakainde Hichilema in 2021, leading to his loss of power.

Despite publicly declaring his retirement from active politics following his defeat, there is strong speculation that he is considering a return to the political arena and may potentially run in the 2026 elections.

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