Home Affairs Minister Edgar Lungu created quite a stir yesterday when he announced that he had deported the former managing director of Zamtel, a company renationalized by the Patriotic Front government, which would represent the second deportation of a former company executive in the midst of lawsuits by the former owners. But it appears that the government can’t deport someone who is no longer living in the country.
Hans Paulsen, the former Managing Director of Zamtel, issued a statement denouncing Lungu’s statement, pointing out that he left Zambia eight months ago and has since demanded for an apology.
Yesterday Lungu told local media that Paulsen was deported to Uganda early this week because he was an “undesirable” person to keep in the county.
Lungu accused Paulsen of possessing two work permits, one for Zambia and another one for Sierra Leon.
Pausen has however dismissed Lungu’s statement, describing it as “false and malicious and has asked for an apology from the PF government”.
“I would like to put it on record and express my utmost disappointment at the false statement made by the Minister of Home Affairs, Edgar Lungu, who falsely and maliciously made the statement in the media that I had been deported when in fact I have never been in Zambia since January 2012,” Paulsen stated. “This is the time that I resigned from Zamtel and subsequently left Zambia for my home country, Uganda. The foregoing can be verified by the immigration officials in Uganda and from my passport.”
He said it was with regret that a senior member of the PF government could carelessly issue such a false and sensitive statement without verifying whether or the information was correct.
“My reputation has been lowered, brought into ridicule, odium and contempt,” Paulsen wrote in a statement.
“As a result of these defamatory remarks by the minister, I demand that the government of Zambia should publicly retract the false statement and apologise to me,” he said.