Armcor Security Company has protested government’s decision to deport its Managing Director Jan Paxton without following laid down procedures.
Company general manager Michael Musonda felt that the deportation of Mr. Paxton was not done in good faith because he was not given a chance to be heard by the relevant authorities.
He said that the company would challenge the decision in courts to ascertain whether the law was followed before the deportation was effected.
Mr. Musonda said that it was unfortunate that the decision by government through the Ministry of Home Affairs to deport Mr. Paxton seemed suspicious as no deportation order was served on either the company or Mr. Paxton.
He said that the continued indiscriminate deportation of foreign investors in the country was worrying as it sent wrong messages about Zambia and the leadership.
“We have had our Managing Directors deported on flimsy grounds. You remember that Lap GreenN directors were deported. Lafarge directors were also affected by these unilateral deportations. Directors at Pamodzi Hotel, Zambezi Portland, and Innscor were deported too, the Catholic Priest and Mr. Simwaya who were later brought back after finding that they did not commit any crime. This is not good for the country,” he said.
He warned that investors were now scared to invest in Zambia as they viewed the country hostile towards foreigners.
“Investors are scared to come to the country and invest as a result of these unilateral deportations. This will affect the relations the country has enjoyed in the past in the region, on the continent and the world at large because people who are deporting without being heard feel victimized and harassed,” he said.
He explained that the deportation of Mr. Paxton was shocking as he had all the necessary documents and the work permit was still valid.
“Three immigration officers visited us on Wednesday around 15:00 hours and demanded to talk to our MD who was at the time attending to some clients and he asked them to wait a bit and after he finished he asked them why they wanted him,
“They ordered him to surrender his passport and work permit which they said they wanted to verify some information on it but later they ordered him to accompany them to their office where they only informed him that his work permit had been revoked.,
“This is a scandal because they did not give him chance or any explanation why they were revoking his permit and effect a direct deportation without any legal representation. This is total abuse of the law and a violation of human rights,” he said.
And officials from the immigration office confirmed the move saying that they were working under instructions from above because of their colleague who was in the same security business.
“We are just following orders because these issues of Armcor Security Company and another named security firm are delicate because many people handling this matter have lost jobs. Even police officers handling matters surrounding these two security company have received letters of dismissals though they had their letters retrieved to allow for the police command handle them,” said immigration officials.
Mr. Paxton was on Wednesday deported from Zambia to South Africa after one of his business competitor complained to government officials on Sunday that he was losing out on security business because of the new security technology Armcor had introduced.
The official said that it was sad that some senior government officials had sided with a named security firm whose interest was to shut down the operations of Armcor Security Company in Zambia.