News / Africa

Zambia Opposition Displeased with Ex-President Banda’s ‘Persecution’

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
Former President Rupiah Banda of Zambia is scheduled to appear before officials of the Joint Investigative Team (GJIT) on Thursday as part of the government’s inquiry into allegations of graft against the former leader.

The investigative team includes security officials from the police, Anti-Corruption Commission, the Drug Enforcement Commission and the Task Force on Corruption.

Namukolo Kasumpa, GJIT spokesperson says the former president will be investigated thoroughly and fairly.

"He was summoned for continuous questioning over a lot of issues," Kasumpa said. "At this point, we wouldn’t be in a position to say how long the investigation is going to take or how long the interview is going to [last]."

But Nevers Mumba, leader of the main opposition political party, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), says Mr. Banda faces trumped up charges that are politically motivated.

"Our position is that the former president is being politically harassed and also that the allegations against him are totally unfounded even when you look at them at face value," said Mumba.

"But going beyond that," Mumba continued, "our party finds it difficult to accept that this is their so-called fight against corruption."

Mumba says supporters of the MMD will accompany the former president to the premises of the GJIT.

He says senior officials of the ruling Patriotic Party (PF) are displeased with what he called the prominent role Banda has been playing in the international community since his defeat in the last presidential vote.

"From the moment we democratically handed over power to the Patriotic Front, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy has been subjected to some of the most incredible mistreatment by the ruling party - basically, with the hope that they could destabilize or scatter the party," he said.

Mumba says the party will remain strong in the face of what he says are government attempt to stifle dissent. The government rejects the accusations.

Banda has often led the U.S.-based Carter Center’s poll observer missions to monitor elections in some African countries. He recently led the Carter Center’s election team monitoring Kenya’s March 4 general elections.

"This is just to get at him and humiliate him and be able to get the passport from him, because he has been representing this country in many fora including monitoring elections on behalf of the Carter foundation and many such noble tasks, and I think this government is not happy about the role that the former president has been given around the world," said Mumba.

Parliament has lifted Banda’s immunity from criminal prosecution, opening the way for the government to prosecute him on charges of financial malfeasance from 2008 to 2011.

The government contends that the former president and his family benefited financially from corrupt practices while Banda was in office, charges the former president denies.

"We are now going into the region to also brief other presidents and heads of state in the region on the inhumane treatment that is being given to the opposition parties, including president Rupiah Banda," said Mumba.

Clottey interview with Namukolo Kasumpa, Zambia's GJIT spokesperson
Clottey interview with Namukolo Kasumpa, Zambia's GJIT spokesperson i
|| 0:00:00

Clottey interview with Nevers Mumba, opposition MMD leader
Clottey interview with Nevers Mumba, opposition MMD leaderi
|| 0:00:00

You May Like

Pakistan Among Developing Countries Hit Hard by Global Warming

Pakistani officials hope developed nations agree to scale back emissions, offer help in dealing with climate change

Video Speed, Social Media Shape Counterterrorism Probes

Speed is critical in effort to prevent subsequent attacks; demographics of extremists lend themselves to communicating, establishing profiles on digital platforms

Islamic State Oil Trade Seduces Friends, Foes Alike

Terrorist group rakes in up to $500 million a year in sales to customers such as Syrian government, US-supported rebels and Turkey

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

By the Numbers

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Social Media Aids Counter-Terrorism Investigationsi
Katherine Gypson
December 01, 2015 10:06 PM
In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, officials carried out waves of raids and arrests to break up terror cells. As VOA's Katherine Gypson reports, social media can be a key tool for investigators.

Video Social Media Aids Counter-Terrorism Investigations

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, officials carried out waves of raids and arrests to break up terror cells. As VOA's Katherine Gypson reports, social media can be a key tool for investigators.

Video Russia Marks World AIDS Day With Grim News

While HIV infection rates have steadied or even declined in many European countries, the caseload has grown rapidly in Russia, as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow. Over half of the new infections were transmitted through injection drug use.

Video Pakistan Hit Hard by Global Warming

As world leaders meet in Paris to craft a new global agreement aimed at cutting climate-changing greenhouse-gas emissions, many developing countries are watching closely for the final results. While most developing nations contribute much less to global warming than developed countries, they often feel the effects to a disproportionate degree. As Saud Zafar reports from Karachi, one such nation is Pakistan. Aisha Khalid narrates his report.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

VOA Blogs