A ZAMBIAN diplomat in Tanzania has spent the last four nights in the holding cell of Julius Nyerere International Airport after that country’s immigration authorities detained him on instruction from the Zambian mission.
Yosi Miti, who was until his recall, the first secretary for trade at the Zambian High Commission in Tanzania, was detained around 01:00 hours on Tuesday upon his arrival from Zambia.
Mr. Miti had travelled to Tanzania to see his 72-year-old hypertensive mother who is still living with the rest of his family at his official residence in Dar-es-salaam.
When contacted, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Harry Kalaba, said the matter was being sorted out.
Tanzanian immigration officials told the Daily Nation yesterday that Mr. Miti was being detained at the airport because of instructions from the Zambian mission not to allow him entry into that country.
The officer said an attempt was made to have him released on Wednesday but officials from the Zambian High Commission’s office insisted that he be detained.
“We are working on instructions; it’s your government who wants him detained. Actually we have no interest in this matter. We are shocked that your country can treat diplomats in the manner you are doing. It is shameful,” said the official.
“There was an instruction not to allow him entry into Tanzania and we detained him here at the airport holding cells.
And around 07:00hrs in the morning we asked him to have a chat with the high commission officials who informed him that there was an instruction not to allow him entry because he was no longer a diplomat accredited to Tanzania. With us here we are just following instructions,” said the official.
When asked where the instructions were coming from, the immigration official said the instructions were given by High Commissioner Judith Kapijimpanga in her letter to the Immigration Office not to allow Mr. Miti entry into that country.
The officials said they were still waiting for fresh instructions before taking action on whether he could remain in detention or have him deported back to Zambia.
“Please we have not allowed him entry into the country because we have specific instructions from Zambia not to allow him into Tanzania.
He has been with us for the past four days. Actually since Monday in the night he has been with us here at the Julius Nyerere International Airport,” said an immigration official.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials could not comment on the matter saying instructions have been given to the permanent secretary in the ministry to deal with it.
Permanent Secretary Chalwe Lombe when asked to comment on the matter asked the Daily Nation to send a press query which was not responded to by end of the day yesterday.