We have been hiding in Zambia, says Kalaba

Nathan Sinkala, Rainford Kalaba and Stopilla Sunzu

Nathan Sinkala, Rainford Kalaba and Stopilla Sunzu

Zambia stars Rainford Kalaba, Stopilla Sunzu and Nathan Sinkala  have denied crossing into DR Congo illegally.

The trio has been pursued by Zambian immigration authorities after allegedly sneaking out of the country illegally at the height of a tense club-versus-country row in the run-up to Chipolopolo’s October 15 friendly against Brazil in Beijing.

The DR Congo club refused to release the players for the Brazil friendly saying that Kalaba and Sinkala had Malaria while Sunzu had an injury even after the player’s travelled to Lusaka on October 12 to try and defuse the impasse.
“You saw how tense the situation was in Lusaka last Saturday was when we met with FAZ officials,” Kalaba told MTNFootball.com.

“It was quiet bad, the attention was too much and we decided to hide ourselves.

“Now that the dust has settled, and the emotions have calmed down, and the game has been played, we are now ready to explain ourselves.”

The trio was by Friday afternoon due to meet with Zambian immigration authorities in the Copperbelt town of Chingola.

Sunzu and Sinkala said they hoped the entire ordeal would be sorted out in an amicable manner.

“We never crossed the border illegally and we have always been in Zambia. We are ready to face immigration authorities and give our side of the story,” Sinkala said.

Sunzu said: “I was shocked to hear that we run away. We simply went to our homes and laid low and waited until the dust had settled.”

The trio is certain to miss Mazembe’s 2013 CAF Confederation Cup semifinal final leg tie against Stade Malien in Lubumbashi this Saturday.

Mazembe currently lead 2-1 from the first leg played on October 6 in Bamako.

Meanwhile the Zambian trio’s have resurfaced 24 hours after Mazembe’s secretary Anglophone representative Andre Mtine was picked up in Ndola by Immigration officers.


“We questioned and released him after recording a statement from him,” said Zambian immigration spokesperson Namati Nshinka.