Maimane expresses his hopes to return to Zambia

Maimane says his meeting with Mwamba has encouraged him because of the assurances he’s received.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane leaves the Zambian embassy in Pretoria on 26 May 2017. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

PRETORIA – Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane says the Zambian high commission has committed to helping him return to that country to stand in solidarity with treason-accused opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema.

Maimane met with high commissioner Emmanuel Mwamba yesterday after being turned away at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport on Thursday night.

The opposition leader planned to attend Hichilema’s trial, seen as based on trumped up charges, which started yesterday.

While he says his meeting with Mwamba proved to him his deportation was politically motivated, he’s encouraged by some assurances he’s received.

“What I am satisfied with is he gave me the assurance that should I plan my next trip, his office will work hard to ensure that we will go back there and support HH to ensure that he gets released.”

Mwamba says Maimane will be allowed to travel to Zambia.

“He is well-respected but that goes to the extent to make sure it doesn’t undermine any of our processes as a sovereign country.”

The high commissioner says Zambia’s democratic principles are respected in Africa.