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

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    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.
    Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United Statesi
    X
    July 28, 2016 2:16 AM
    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora