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

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing 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.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
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.

All About America

AppleAndroid