Foreign Affairs Minister Joe Malanji says Zambia and Rwanda bilateral relationships have not been strained by allegations that President Edgar a Lungu funded insurgents to topple President Paul Kagame’s government.
Mr. Malanji who yesterday made a one day emergency trip to Kigali as a special envoy of President Lungu said the two countries continue to enjoy sound bilateral relations.
He also said both President Edgar Lungu and President Paul Kagame also enjoy a cordial and sound friendship.
Addressing a media briefing in Lusaka, Mr. Malanji said his travel was meant to understand allegations made against Zambia and the reports that were made by a rebel leader appearing in the High Court in Kigali.
Callixte ‘Sankara’ Nsabimana appeared in the Nyanza High Court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to all charges but said that he was misled by some individuals and claimed that he was financially helped by President Edgar Lungu of Zambia.
But Mr. Malanji said he was informed by President Kagame that the allegations are not credible as prior to his arrest, Nsabimana had travelled to five countries that do NOT include Zambia.
He said the Zambian government will continue to investigate why Nsabimana chose to falsely mention President Edgar Lungu in his court testimony.
Mr. Malanji said the warm bilateral relations enjoyed between Zambia and Rwanda have not been shaken by the lies told by Nsabimana in court.
“The allegations are not coming from the government of Rwanda, these allegations are coming from a Convict. I had a lengthy merging with President Kagame as a special envoy of Government of the Republic of Zambia and the Government of Rwanda and President Kagame was very categorical that this convict has been five countries prior to his arrest and Zambia was not one of them and they were very categorical about this and President Kagame said to me that he doesn’t want to give credence to these allegations made by the convict,” Mr Malanji said.
He added, “President Kagame indicated that he has very sound relationship with President Lungu as a person and he did not see how President Lungu can start hiring these mercenaries and time start with Zambia is not sharing any border with Rwanda whose conflict might lead to someone being aggrieved to start sponsoring mercenaries.”
“So you can look at these allegations against President Lungu with the contempt they deserve. It has got nothing to do with President Lungu. And to start with, we are doing to dig, diplomatically and engage Rwanda to make sure we find out the reason and who could have enticed this convict to bring the name of the President of Zambia and the country into disrepute. We are following up this and soon our officers will be going to Rwanda to make sure that we dig and find out why he had to bring the name of Zambia and the name of President Lungu.”119