By STEPHEN PHIRI, NKWETO MFULA and CHISHALA MUSONDA
THE Immigration Department yesterday detained TP Mazembe Zambia internationals Rainford Kalaba, Nathan Sinkala and Stopilla Sunzu for allegedly contravening the immigration exit procedure.
The three players were nabbed at Kasumbalesa border.
The Chipolopolo stars were later taken to Ndola to appear before the regional immigration officer.
The players were accompanied by Tom Chani.
Kalaba confirmed their arrest in a telephone interview from Chililabombwe yesterday.
“When we reached the border we were told that we cannot cross into Congo. The officers told us that we needed to appear before the regional immigration officer for crossing into Congo illegally. As I speak to you, we are being driven to Ndola,” Kalaba said.
He said he and the other two players were in high spirits despite the ordeal.
And an officer, who sought anonymity, said the three players have been on the Immigration Department wanted list for the last five days.
“We are taking them to Ndola. That all I can say for now,” he said.
When word went round across the border that the three players were detained, TP Mazembe fans expressed disappointment.
The fans said they three players were important to TP Mazembe’s ambitions of qualifying for the final of the Confederation Cup.
TP Mazembe face Stade Malien of Mali today in the semi-final return leg in Lubumbashi.
Earlier in an interview, the three players denied contravening the immigration exit procedure.
Kalaba said he has been in the country since last Saturday.
The three players were in Lusaka last Saturday in the company of TP Mazembe Zambia representative Andre Mtine, who maintained that the Chipolopolo stars were unfit for Tuesday’s international match against Brazil in Beijing, which the South Americans won 2-0.
“The reason I have called you Steve (author) is to inform the nation that I have been in Ndola since last Saturday. After the press briefing at Golfview Hotel in Lusaka we were tipped that they will not allow the plane to fly back to Lubumbashi.
“Stopilla and Nathan remained in Lusaka and I travelled home to Ndola. I have been in Ndola and I have been reading the stories carried on us by the newspapers. I and my friends cannot sink so low to use illegal means to go back to Congo,” he said.
Kalaba said his travel document was stamped in Lubumbashi and at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport.
Asked why they did not appear in public to counter the Immigration Department’s claims that they had crossed the border illegally, Kalaba said he and his colleagues were afraid that Zambians could beat them.
He maintained that he was unwell.
“I really wanted to play against Brazil but I could not because I had malaria. Playing against Brazil is every player’s dream. I have played for my country for a long time and I will continue to do so in future.
“I love playing for Zambia and I am a patriotic Chipolopolo player,” said Kalaba, who is fondly known as Master by his national team colleagues.
And Sunzu wondered why they were being accused of using illegal means to cross into Lubumbashi.
“I have been in Zambia since last Saturday. At no time did we go back to Congo. Why should I go back to Lubumbashi using illegal means? I always use the border when entering or leaving Zambia,” he said.
Sunzu said he had a knee problem, hence not featuring for Zambia during the match against Brazil.
“I was not fit, I had a knee problem. Even a person gets sick and when you are sick you cannot do anything. If you are sick and you force yourself you can fail on the pitch,” he said.
Kalaba, Sunzu, Sinkala detained
By STEPHEN PHIRI, NKWETO MFULA and CHISHALA MUSONDA
Those imbeciles are filthy liars.They weren’t in the country and it should be that they just returned.They think just because they are ball players they can be above the law.Kulowana niku lowana, oh sorry, Law is law.Just detain em for a year.Useless imbeciles!
LOCK EM UP ND THROW AWAY THE KEYS. FUCK THEM
Its gud dat these fuckers ve bn arrestd,the trio
i call em foolz
FOR NOW THAT IS THE BEST.FIFA PLIZ GIVE KATUMBI $ TP MAZEMBE THEIR SHARES (PUNISHMENT).THEY THINK THEY ARE HEROES.THATS WHY I LIKE LAW.
The 3 Musketeers
Am a very patrotic Zambian citizen,concerning the Trio behaivour am very dissapoited with them for they refused the Ministrio derective. but one wonders,why Kalaba is reacting now if sow or read the aligations on the papers?
-Why did they go to Kasumbalesa Boarder if he was in Ndola & others were in Lusaka?
The BEST thing is to apologies!! just that.
How long is the suspention?
Drop dam 4rm da team, 4eva
they tink they r special….
thoz 3 guys hv disapointd us.. wat a shame…!
kalulu tachingela imuku shibili…
they deserv it…
lets hop ths wil b a leson 2 others…
law z law no one indid z above it..
y arest them?
Its sad that everyone has associated you behavior with that of the
that of the famous killers “The Mailoni Brothers” which to a curse on its on…..
Its sad that everyone has associated you behavior with that of the Mthat of the famous killers “The Mailoni Brothers” which to a curse on its on…..
bring them to my station displine
mundike boi @ shani meat
These guys where in Congo,they just came back after hearing that they are wanted.
Shame on you 3 guys.Learn to be patriotic,not just money all the time.
No One above the Law guyz but obey the law!
jst arest them!
Obedience to th law iz important
Those Milon Brothers Are Lyinga.mbesuma,mukuka And Nkausu Had Injuries But Humbly Traveled And Where Assed By Team Dr Hense Where Not Forced To Ply,so Wats That Nonsence
There is no one ABOVE the Law Bros……
How can a normal person go to the border when u there there is an arrest warrant for u??????? my thinking is that Katumbi again illigally brought them back to Zambia through luapula!!! amazing how dull the three guys can be!!!
U need to obey the rules pa border. boma ni boma! mailoni brothers
This case is just being blown out of proportion
How come the three of them each had a medical issue and they all play for TP mazembe? they could have released statement via SMS or phone call to confirm whereabouts with FAZ etc. Smells fishy. Shame out borders have s many holes, no fences or strict patrols.
The Mailoni Brothers!
Come on chilu
here we go the mailoni brothers arest them nd lock them away