Armcor protests deportations


ARMCOR has described as shocking the deportation of its two directors who had valid documentation for their work permits.

Armcor chief executive officer Gary Wadey has said the deportation of Mr Jan Paxtson and Basil Pietersen was not in the best interest of the company and the country.

He said this in his protest letter of September 10, 2014 to the South African High Commission in Zambia.

Mr. Wadey said Mr Paxtson and Mr. Pietersen were employed by Armcor Security Company and that their work permit applications were submitted to the Immigration department where they were approved.

“Infact, Mr. Paxtson’s permit was renewed on 1st July, 2014, where all relevant government agencies cleared the permit.

“Unfortunately and regrettably your Excellency, this serious embroilment has been personalized to Jan and Basil, who have been the subject of victimization, threats, intimidation, abuse by some law enforcement government agencies and now deported under section 39, an extremely serious offence, which will now have serious life time ramification and effect their lives forever,” the letter reads in part.

Mr. Wadey also explained that the deportations would affect over 5500 workers , adding that last year in 2013 through their lawyers Elis and Company they petitioned and appealed to President Michael Sata to have Mr. Paxtson come back which the President did.

And in another letter from Milner Katolo and Associates dated 1st August, 2014 which was directed to the District Criminal Investigations Officer at the Lusaka Central Police, the lawyers complained of harassment and victimization of Mr. Paxtson and Mr. Pietersen by some police officers.

The letter indicated that, a named police officer was on a payroll of a named Zambian of Indian origin who was a former managing director at Armcor.

And a source at the Department of Immigration has said that the deportation was irregular and influenced by some powerful Zambian businessman of Indian origin who has direct business connections and influence in the Patriotic Front government and leadership.

The officer explained that some immigration officers who handled the deportation of Mr Paxtson and Mr Pietersen found it difficult to execute the operation professionally but pressure from some named politicians and  the Zambian businessman prevailed over the matter. The officer said instructions were clear to have them out of the country before Thursday last week but a meeting Mr. Paxtson had at the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) fouled the scheme to remove them out of Zambia to South Africa on a last plane.

“We found it difficult because the operation had a time frame, Jan and Basil were supposed to be deported on Wednesday last week but because of the meeting Jan had at ZRA which prolonged, the operation was also delayed and it was one reason why we had to source for cash for fuel from some Indian businessman to transport them to Ndola in the night because the instructions were clear that they should not be seen in Lusaka the following morning or else we will be disciplined,” said the officer.