Stoppila Sunzu speaks out after Zambia police raids his father’s home

PRESS STATEMENT BY THE SUNZU FAMILY

December 16th, 2021.

An article attributed to a Mr. Larry Mweetwa suggesting I was used to smuggle unknown items for the Patriotic Front has been brought to my attention.

This article comes a few days after I was informed by my family of a raid by the Department of Immigration at my parents’ home in Chililabombwe.

Since the day the news of this raid was made public, a series of false information about my family has been shared.

We have opted not to publicly discuss this matter because we believe the authorities are carrying out their work professionally.

I am, however, compelled to set the record straight to dispel the falsehoods being spread by individuals on a malicious campaign to discredit myself and family for reasons best known to themselves.

At no time have I had any business dealings with the Patriotic Front, current or past, and linking any of my little investments which are borne out of my hard work as a professional footballer in the last 15 years to politics is extremely disappointing.

I therefore wish to advise that to prevent the continued spread of this false information, we have instructed our lawyers in Europe to commence legal proceedings against Mr. Mweetwa for fabricating false stories to bring my name and that of my family into disrepute. Mr Mweetwa’s statement is full of contradictions. In one line he says I have been enjoying a tax holiday (falsehood) and then states that I have been smuggling goods. How can someone who is on a tax holiday again be a smuggler?

By copy of this statement, Mr. Mweetwa will have 72 hours to withdraw the statement attributed to him or face legal proceedings in the country of his residence.

Further, I wish to confirm that a team of Immigration Officers who I am told was a unit comprising the Anti-Robbery squad forcibly gained access to my parents’ home at 02AM on December 13, 2021.

My father alongside my sister (a minor who is just turning 16), my brother and my cousins were all picked up for interrogation by the law enforcement officers.

We are perturbed that the issue of my father’s nationality should arise today more than 30 years since he relocated to establish himself in Zambia, a country where his wife hailed.

I am also surprised why I am the only Zambian national team player being singled out for having parents of Congolese heritage when from time immemorial, Zambia has fielded many such players.

What has further disturbed me and the family is that the officers picked my father who has not enjoyed good health since we lost our mother three months ago.

These events have broken us as a family. I wish to also state that the story suggesting my father was harboring prohibited Immigrants from the Democratic Republic of Congo is untrue.

Everyone who travelled from the DRC to send off my mother who passed away on September 10, 2021 returned to their home within a week after burial.

I have also been alerted to an audio recording purporting to be my father giving his side of the story regarding his immigration status. I wish to state that at no time has my father publicly discussed his unfortunate ordeal with the immigration officers.

My appeal to fellow Zambians is to respect my privacy and that of my family as we process this agonizing period.

Despite my family being subjected to this embarrassing and unfair treatment, my brothers and I will forever remain proud of being one of the chosen few Zambians to have brought glory and put a smile on our people through our God given football talent. My detractors have no idea how proud we are with my footballing brothers to be Zambians.

Signed

Stoppila Sunzu
Family Representative