Our father is not a Rwandan – deported Abdul Simwaya’ s children

From Children of Mr. Abdul Simwaya

Lusaka, 17th December, 2012

PRESS RELEASE

SUBJECT: ILLEGAL DEPORTATION OF OUR FATHER; MR. ABDUL SIMWAYA, A ZAMBIAN NATIONAL

On Thursday, 13th December, 2012, the Minister of Home affairs Mr. Edgar Lungu deported our father to Rwanda a country of which he is not a citizen. Minister Lungu said that our father was involved in illegal activities and that he was linked to a terrorist organization in East Africa.

The Minister neglected to respect the truth by telling lies about our father, and without following the due process of law he deported our father by abusing his office. Firstly, our father came to Zambia in 1966 and he lived in this country since then and subsequently, followed all procedure to apply for citizenship. He was awarded Zambian citizenship in 1986, twenty six years ago. He has lived in Zambia for 46 years and he has been a law abiding citizen. At no time has our father been arrested for any criminal offence any where. Our father was interviewed by the citizenship board and declared all this information. He explained to the board that to allow him to be able to travel he got documents from DR Congo because he left his country of origin at the age of 16 years when there was civil strife in Rwanda. The Citizenship board sat and approved his citizenship and the people who were in that Board are still alive today. We are therefore surprised that the Minister of Home affairs made such serious accusations which are a mere fabrication. The Minister would like to portray a wrong picture that he investigated the origins and yet our father declared that information to government and everything is on file. We challenge the Minister to tell the nation what terrorist activities our father has been involved in and he should give evidence to that effect. It is shocking that he made such serious accusations without any evidence. If at all he was really involved in these criminal activities why was he not arrested and tried in the courts of law in Zambia? We challenge the minister to explain to the nation why he chose to deport the old man instead of taking him to court for prosecution if he was involved in the alleged criminal acts.

Our father is married to our mother who is a Nsenga from Eastern province, he has eight children and nine grandchildren all of who are Zambians. Therefore as Zambians we ask our government to protect our father. We will not rest until this matter is fully resolved.

The Minister also made insinuations and innuendos that our father has a lot of money which he funds political parties. We want to say that our father is a hard working man and fends for his family through hard work, but he does not have that kind of money to start funding any political parties. The Minister should have been fair to himself and check his bank accounts instead of making false statements. This deportation was irregular as he was put on the plane unaccompanied.

Our father is not the only Zambian of foreign origin, there are many including those serving in the current administration, for instance if the Vice President Guy Scott was suspected of committing a crime would he be deported to Britain, the answer is no.

We further, wonder why the Minister failed to constitute an inquiry which option the Minister gave to our father as provided for in the law. Why would the Minister overrule his own decision to establish an inquiry into the matter? The reason for failure to institute an inquiry is because he knows the truth would have come out. There is something the Minister is not telling the nation and instead he is hiding in the name of security. After all these years our father has only become a threat to security today.

As we speak the Rwandan government has rejected our father and he is stuck in Kenya and we are not sure of what is going to happen to him. We will hold the government responsible if anything happens to him. It is really strange that a government cannot protect its own citizens and chose to harass them. We have information that the Minister has been visited by foreigners living in Zambia who have been influencing this deportation and issuing damaging statements on our father. Our father is a Zambian and his citizenship was acquired after exhausting all procedures, therefore, the Zambian government must protect him and not harass him. At his age of 69 years he has never committed any crime. He has no capacity to even kill a fly then minister indicates that he was threatening people’s lives. This does not make sense and we challenge the Minister to tell the nation which threats were made and who he was threatening.

Signed:

Mustafa Simwaya                                                                               Asia Simwaya

Son                                                                                                        Daughter

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