According to a letter dated 07 September 2023, the Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet, Oliver Kalabo informed Lungu that he had not been granted permission to travel to SA. Reads the letter in part:
Reference is made to a letter dated 16 August 2023 on the above subject.
I wish to advise that authority has not been granted for you, Your Excellency, to travel to South Africa for medical review.
Zambia’s President, Hakainde Hichilema, who chairs the SADC Troika, snubbed President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s inauguration on 04 September.
The ZANU PF-led government then hastily invited Lungu to attend the ceremony, a move that some commentators said was done to “spite” Hichilema.
On 4 September, Hichilema castigated alleged coup plotters who he claimed were planning to undermine Zambia’s democracy and stability. He said:
To colleagues that think, we are timid by being kind and that they can break the laws and entertain thoughts of illegal takeover of government including undemocratic coup d’état… we are coming for you.
Since gaining independence from Britain in 1964, Zambia has never experienced military rule, though there have been several unsuccessful coup attempts.
Commenting on the decision by the Zambian government to block Lungu from travelling to South Africa, Zambian political activist, Joseph Kalimbwe said:
Post published in: Africa News
Edgar Lungu has been denied access to leave the country to go seek medical review in South Africa. I support the action. Lungu was President, he should have improved the local hospitals and therefore must go to the same hospitals Zambians go to !!!
I see some people in Southern Africa are unhappy with the photo (of the letter blocking Lungu from travelling to SA) I shared.
African leaders don’t improve hospitals in their own countries & want to be treated abroad.
Lungu was President of Zambia, he talks a lot of the hospitals he built, he must go & be treated in one of them !!
I doubt if Lungu is genuinely unwell or that he needs a medical review. He just wants to leave the country and go meet his friends – plot.
Also, why does he want to go to South Africa & not Zimbabwe? I thought he said all is well in Zim. He must go get treated at Parirenyatwa !!!