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

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs