By BENNIE MUNDANDO
RUSSIA has demanded for an explanation from Zambia how its national, Sergey Kuznetsov, was bundled out of the country despite possessing documents validating his stay.
Mr. Kuznetsov, the former Gemcanton Emerald Mine strong room manager, complained to the Russian Embassy over the way he was forced out of the country by armed security officers and some mine officials where he was ordered to pack his belongings under 10 minutes and leave the country.
But both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Russian Embassy in Zambia have remained mute over the forced departure of Mr Kuznetsov.
When contacted, Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Chalwe Lombe said he could not divulge information on the matter as that would be going against the confidentiality agreement espoused in the Vienna Convention while the Russian sreferred all queries to Mr. Kuznetsov’s lawyer, Mr Dickson Jere.
“All correspondences between a foreign mission and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is confidential and so I cannot divulge whether or not we have received correspondence or whether we have responded because I will be violating a fundamental principle of the Vienna Convention which governs relations between us and that is my constraining factor.
“So, I cannot confirm or deny because I will be in violation of the trust which is given to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” Mr. Lombe said.
However, sources within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs say the Russian Government had written to Zambia demanding an explanation on how Mr. Kuznetsov was bundled out of the country in unexplained circumstances
Upon his return to Zambia, Mr. Kuznetsov gave an interview to the Daily Nation on January 22, 2019 in which he narrated how armed security guards seized him from his office and gave him 10 minutes to pack his belongings and leave the country.
He said armed security officers ordered him into the car and drove him to the airport where everything had already been arranged for him to leave the country by a Mr. Alou, a close friend of the other shareholder, Abdoulaye Ndiaye.
He said Mr. Alou and the company security facilitated his removal out of Zambia by clearing him with the Immigration Department before they grabbed his work permit