News / Africa

Zambia Revokes Former President Banda’s Diplomatic Passport

Zambia's former President Rupiah Banda gestures during the Reuters Africa Investment Summit held in Johannesburg, South, Africa, Mar. 8, 2011.
Zambia's former President Rupiah Banda gestures during the Reuters Africa Investment Summit held in Johannesburg, South, Africa, Mar. 8, 2011.
Peter Clottey
Attorneys for former Zambian President Rupiah Banda plan to meet with him Friday to discuss reports the government had revoked his diplomatic passport.

One of his attorneys Sakwiba Sikota says President Michael Sata’s apparent decision to cancel Banda’s passport is illegal and an affront to democracy.

“If the report in the media is correct then certainly, they are in breach of Zambian law,” said Sikota.

His comments followed reports in the media that the government has canceled the former president’s passport. Some Zambians attributed the reported decision to an ongoing graft investigation against the former leader by the Joint Government Investigation Team.

But citing the constitution, Sikota said, the former president has not been convicted of any crime.

“They have it wrong,” said Sikota. “The passport that Banda has, he has because of a specific act of parliament, which is the former presidents Benefits Act, which sets out what former presidents are entitled to. One of the things the former president is entitled to is a diplomatic passport for himself and for his spouse.”

A section of the Benefits Act stipulates that “a former president shall be disqualified from the benefits conferred by this act, if he has ceased to hold office on the grounds of willful violation of the constitution, or from his conduct, or if he is convicted of an offense and sentenced to imprisonment for a term exceeding six months.”

“None of those apply,” said Sikota. “So you cannot take away those accrued rights, because the law states under what circumstances that can be done. So those people saying the government can take that away obviously don’t know what the law is.”                                                   

Sikota says both Banda’s office and his attorneys have yet to receive an official notification from the government.

“We have been trying to get an official letter, but all we have seen are reports in the all the state-run media, and also in the media, which is pro-government. So, it would appear that there is such a letter,” said Sikota.

Immigration officials recently prevented the former president from boarding a plane to neighboring South Africa. Officials feared his trip would have compromised the ongoing criminal investigation against him.

Parliament has lifted Banda’s immunity from criminal prosecution, a move that opened the way for the government to prosecute him on charges of financial malfeasance between 2008 and 2011.

The administration contends that the former president and his family benefited financially from corrupt practices while Mr. Banda was in office, charges the former president denies.
Clottey interview with Attorney Sakwiba Sikota
Clottey interview with Attorney Sakwiba Sikotai
|| 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