Tensions rise as top politician launches bid to bar Chinamasa and Mutsvangwa from entering Zambia


Zambian political activist Joseph Kalimbwe has taken legal action against Patrick Chinamasa, a member of Zimbabwe’s Zanu PF politburo, accusing him of making death threats against Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema. The move comes as tensions between Zambia and Zimbabwe escalate following Zimbabwe’s controversial elections last month, which received widespread condemnation from observer missions.

The Southern African Development Community (Sadc) election observer mission, led by former Zambian Vice-President Nevers Mumba, released a scathing report stating that the Zimbabwean elections failed to meet regional standards. This led to strained relations between the two countries, with Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu PF party attempting to discredit the report and labelling President Hichilema as a Western puppet.

Joseph Kalimbwe, expressing his discontent on social media, called for Patrick Chinamasa and newly-appointed War Veterans Minister Christopher Mutsvangwa to be banned from entering Zambia. Kalimbwe accused Chinamasa of disrespecting the passing of Zambia’s late leader and threatened to file a criminal case against him for the alleged death threats.

“Patrick Chinamasa and Christopher Mutsvangwa must be banned from ever setting foot on Zambian soil. We can’t have folks like Patrick mock the passing of our leader and still be allowed entry into our country,” Kalimbwe said on social media platform X.

This recent development follows a protest by Hakainde Hichilema’s United Party for National Development supporters, who condemned the ruling Zanu PF party for the threats against their leader during the reopening of copper mines in Chingola and Chililabombwe.

Patrick Chinamasa responded to the allegations by stating that he would need to read the content before making any comments. He had previously triggered controversy by defending the disputed election and suggesting that Nevers Mumba would fail, drawing comparisons to the late Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa.

There are claims in Lusaka that Zanu PF is collaborating with Zambian opposition to harm Hakainde Hichilema. In response, Copperbelt provincial minister Elisha Matambo vowed to petition international and regional bodies to investigate the threats against Hichilema’s life.

Christopher Mutsvangwa, when approached for comment, emphasized the enduring bond between Zimbabwe and Zambia, refusing to directly address the matter.

Mutsvangwa had previously criticized Nevers Mumba, dismissing him as an election observer and referring to him as “a mere preacher” following the August 23 elections.

The situation between Zambia and Zimbabwe remains tense as these allegations and disputes continue to strain the relationship between the two neighbouring countries.

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