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
...    
🔇
X

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

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs