Zambian President Lungu denies claims of funding Rwandan rebels

Zambia's President Edgar Lungu in Paris, France, on February 8, 2016.PHOTO | AFP
Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu. PHOTO | AFP

Zambia denied allegations made by a suspected Rwandan terrorist that President Edgar Lungu facilitated the National Liberation Forces (FLN) in its attempts to overthrow the Rwandan government.

Callixte Nsabimana, who was spokesman for the FLN, told a High Court in Rwanda’s Nyanza District on Monday that Lungu had allowed them space to operate and even pledged $1 million to help topple the Rwandan government.

According to Nsabimana, Lungu had already paid a deposit of $150,000 towards “rebel attacks to remove President Paul Kagame from power”. He has also accused Burundi and Uganda of facilitating him and other people to coordinate their activities.

However, a statement from presidential spokesperson Isaac Chipambe on Tuesday categorically refuted the “false” allegations.

“Allegations in the local and international media of the alleged submission made to Rwanda’s High Court for International and Cross-border Crimes must be treated with the contempt they deserve,” the statement said.

“The governments and peoples of Zambia and Rwanda continue to enjoy strong and fraternal relations founded on mutual respect.”

Nsabimana, who was arrested in April 2019, is facing multiple charges including terrorism and treason following attacks in Rwanda in 2018.

The FLN is a military wing founded by the opposition movement, the Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD), which is led by Paul Rusesabagina.

President Paul Kagame has accused Rwanda’s neighbours of interfering in its affairs and sponsoring armed movements against his administration.