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Zambian govt defends denial of asylum for Tendai Biti

The senior member of the MDC Alliance was handed back to Zimbabwean authorities on Thursday after his attempt to seek asylum was denied in Zambia.

FILE: Zimbabwe opposition official Tendai Biti. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Zambian government has defended its decision to deny Zimbabwe's opposition official asylum, saying there was no breakdown of law and order in that country.

Senior member of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance Tendai Biti was handed back to Zimbabwean authorities on Thursday after his attempt to seek asylum in Zambia was denied.

Zambia's chief government spokesperson Dora Siliya says the government denied the opposition figure asylum as the lives of citizens in Zimbabwe were not under threat.

But the Biti's legal team has expressed shock that the Zambian authorities disregarded a court order granted by a Zambian court not to deport him.

A high court judge in Lusaka granted Biti an application to stay in Zambia on Wednesday night.

In a statement, the Zambian government says the immigration authorities did not disregard the court order before handing Biti to Zimbabwe authorities as the order had not yet been served at the time he was being handed over.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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