Newly elected President of Zambia, Micheal ‘King Cobra’ Sata will mount a total boycott of the forthcoming Common Market for Eastern and South Africa (Comesa) Heads of State and Government Summit to be hosted by Malawi from October 14 to 15 2011 because President Bingu wa Mutharika declared him a prohibited immigrant in the country.
Sata’s Malawian lawyer Ralph Kasambara confirmed to Nyasa Times that the Zambian head of state has indeed indicated that he will not be travelling to attend the Comesa summit which is expected to discuss trade, business investments within the trading bloc.
“Zambia President Micheal Sata will not attend a summit of Comesa to be held in Malawi because he was declared a prohibited immigrant,” said Kasambara in a telephone interview on Monday.
President Sata: Not travelling to Malawi
“I have had a discussion with President Sata and he says he is not coming to Malawi neither is he sending a representative to the summit,” Kasambara added.
Sata was arrested at Chileka international Airport in Blantyre 15 March, 2007 on orders from President Mutharika when he flew into Malawi to hold talks with former president Bakili Muluzi.
According to Kasambara, no reasons were given for his arrest but he was detained for several hours at Blantyre Police Station, where he was declared Persona Non Grata (PNG) or Prohibited Immigrant (PI).
He was then driven 500 kilometres and dumped at Chipata on the Malawi-Zambia border.
Sata sued Malawi government for defamation and wrongful detention.
In an a sworn-affidavit in the Miscellaneous cause number 142 of 2007 obtained by Nyasa Times, Police officer Justin Magaleta said the cops did not ill-treat Sata during the removal trip from Blantyre to Chipata.
“Mr Sata, who was a smoker, was allowed to smoke in the motor vehicle, “said officer Magaleta in the court records.
Magaleta said he and another officer Emmanuel Jere treated Sata with “utmost respect” and “dignity” and that he did not complain of nay mistreatment.
The statement said “throughout the journey, Mr. Sata was neither handcuffed nor otherwise physically restrained.”
Kasambara said they are waiting for judgement in the case to be delivered by Justice Healey Potani expected next week.