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

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, No voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve and do not want to take a risk by endorsing independence More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Spacei
X
September 17, 2014 4:20 AM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid