News / Africa

Zambia Opposition Condemns Ex-President Banda’s Prosecution

Zambia's former president, Rupiah Banda, is seen in a  March 8, 2011 file photo.Zambia's former president, Rupiah Banda, is seen in a March 8, 2011 file photo.
x
Zambia's former president, Rupiah Banda, is seen in a  March 8, 2011 file photo.
Zambia's former president, Rupiah Banda, is seen in a March 8, 2011 file photo.
Peter Clottey
Zambia’s main opposition, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), has condemned the prosecution of former president Rupiah Banda for corruption.

Banda was briefly arrested and released after the government’s Joint Investigations Team charged him with abuse of office in connection with a Nigeria oil procurement deal. Banda has rejected the charges as politically motivated.

MMD Deputy Secretary-General Chembe Nyangu says the prosecution of  Banda is part of a government plan to divert public attention away from its failure to keep its promises of economic improvement within 90 days of taking office.

Nyangu says the prosecution is also a sign that the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) wants to weaken the opposition and to silence dissent.

"These are aimed at weakening the opposition, particularly the MMD, knowing that the MMD has the potential to bounce back to government, because PF has technically and practically failed to deliver the campaign promises made to the people," said Nyangu.

"What has happened is only political persecution of all opposition leaders including Hakainde Hichilema [leader of United Party for National Development [UPND] and Nevers Mumba [MMD leader], meaning that all these leaders are being targeted by the government," he said.

The government contends that the prosecution of the former president is part of its efforts to root out graft in Zambia.

“Mr. Banda abused the authority of his office by procuring a Nigerian government-to-government oil contract when he and his family benefited. He instructed his son, Henry Chikomeni Banda, to determine the destination of the funds which were the proceeds of this contract, as a result of which instructions, Zambia did not receive any benefit, an act arbitrary and prejudicial to the rights and interests of Zambia," read the statement from the government’s Joint Investigations Team.

But Nyangu says the government has been selective in its claims of fighting corruption, saying officials in the administration accused of graft are yet to be investigated or prosecuted.

"The government has said you cannot take a minister to any court of law or to the ACC [anti-graft body] to be interrogated because they first have to be cleared by the president. Which means that any PF minister cannot be questioned by the ACC because the president has failed to clear them," said Nyangu.

Parliament lifted Banda’s immunity from criminal prosecution after the administration urged the legislature to do so, claiming it would enable officials to investigate cases of corruption during the former president’s rule.  The removal of the immunity allows the government to prosecute Banda for financial malfeasance he is alleged to have committed from 2008 to 2011.

Clottey interview with Chembe Nyangu, MMD Deputy Secretary General
Clottey interview with Chembe Nyangu, MMD Deputy Secretary General i
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid