Gloves off in Zambia
Lusaka – Zambia’s Former President, Rupiah Banda, wants to petition Parliament to impeach his successor, President Michael Sata, for alleged “disregard for the rule of law”.
It is believed the move is designed to stall moves by the government to eventually prosecute the Ex-President for alleged corruption during his three year reign that ended in 2011 after electoral defeat at President Sata’s hands.
There is raging debate at present as to whether or not Banda’s immunity is a former Head of State should be lifted so that he can face corruption charges.
One of his sons has already been charged with corruption while another is in South Africa, with the Former President, and refuses to return to Zambia to answer to allegations of corruption.
President Sata has warned that the government might consider requesting South Africa to extradite the pair.
President Sata has also claimed the Bandas are seeking asylum in South Africa, something that the pair deny.
Former President Banda also denies he was involved in a petition by opposition leader, Nevers Mumba, for the commonwealth to slap sanctions on Zambia.
“I am certainly coming back home before proceeding for other international assignments,” Former President Banda said this past week in reference to electoral observation duties he is performing in Africa.
Banda enjoys immunity against any prosecution for alleged crimes committed during his tenure as provided under Article 43(3) of Zambia’s constitution.
On the sanctions petition, Mumba has said: “The document we gave the Commonwealth is about 40 pages, we will document further abuses in the next dossier we will give to the AU, may be 60 pages, and the SADC one might be around 80 pages long.”
Chief government spokesperson, Kennedy Sakeni, has said any moves to lift Banda’s immunity would be treated with caution.
On the matter of impeaching President Sata, opposition lawmakers say the Head of State is “misruling” the country.
They cite the planned ratification of Retired Judge Lombe Chibesakunda as the country’s chief justice despite him being over the 65-year-old civil service retirement requirement as a case in point of the “misrule”.