Zambia’s Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services and Chief Government Spokesperson, Dora Siliya has claimed that her government did not deport Tendai Biti but simply handed him over to the Zimbabwe authorities due to irregularities in his paperwork. She also claimed that the Zambians had not defied a high court order from Justice Chawatama, saying that the order had come too late after Biti had already been processed. However, she did not explain why Zambia had violated international refugee law, by forcibly returning an asylum seeker to his country of origin. The move has been condemned by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
Writing on Twitter, Siliya said
Biti not deported but handed back as he had not gained entry into Zambia. His handover documents processed on 8 August while his court order against his return processed on 9 August 2018.
Biti not deported but handed back as he had not gained entry into Zambia. His handover documents processed on 8 August while his court order aginst his return processed on 9 August 2018.
— Hon. Dora Siliya, MP (@Dora_Siliya) August 9, 2018
Siliya had previously said that Biti had been denied asylum because Zimbabwe was a stable country with no threats to the lives of citizens.
Forcibly Returning Asylum Seekers To Country Of Origin Is A Serious Violation: UN Speaks On Biti Case