Leading political analysts have expressed strong disapproval of the Zambian government's move to prevent former president, Edgar Lungu from leaving the country for medical treatment.
The analysts argue that this action is not only undemocratic but also infringes on basic human rights and freedoms.
Rutendo Manzongo, a political analyst from the University of Zimbabwe, labelled the Zambian government's decision as outright maltreatment.
"The Zambian government is clearly engaging in political persecution. Every citizen is entitled to their human rights, encompassing freedom of movement and the right to healthcare. The act stands in contradiction to the United Nations' regulations," opined Manzongo.
Echoing Manzongo's sentiments, Chenai Mangondo of Midlands State University viewed the decision as a reflection of desperation bythe Zambian government.
"This move smacks of dictatorial tendencies. The United Party for National Development's (UPND) government is intimidating its critics," remarked Mangondo.
John Makaza, another respected voice from the University of Zimbabwe, further emphasized the gravity of the Zambian government's action.
"The blockage of Lungu's medical trip is deeply concerning. It hints at a troubling trend where state power could be misused against political adversaries. Beyond the political implications, it's a blatant violation of Lungu's fundamental human rights.
"The Zambian authorities must immediately grant Lungu permission to proceed to South Africa for his medical needs and, moving forward, uphold the rights of every Zambian," Makaza commented.
In the midst of these criticisms, it has been reported that Lungu had plans to journey to South Africa for medical care. However, his passport was confiscated by airport immigration officers at the behest of the government. The Zambian government remains silent, offering no justification for their controversial decision.