News / Africa

Zambia Promises Fair Trial for Former President Banda

Zambia's President Rupiah Banda arrives at the Presidential Guest House for Extra-Ordinary Summit in Pretoria, South Africa, January 26, 2009.Zambia's President Rupiah Banda arrives at the Presidential Guest House for Extra-Ordinary Summit in Pretoria, South Africa, January 26, 2009.
x
Zambia's President Rupiah Banda arrives at the Presidential Guest House for Extra-Ordinary Summit in Pretoria, South Africa, January 26, 2009.
Zambia's President Rupiah Banda arrives at the Presidential Guest House for Extra-Ordinary Summit in Pretoria, South Africa, January 26, 2009.
James Butty
Zambia’s attorney general has said former President Rupiah Banda will get a fair trial when his corruption trial commences this week.  

Mumba Malila also said Zambian courts have demonstrated their independence.

The former president is accused of abusing his powers by procuring an oil contract with the Nigerian government meant for Zambia. 

The government insists that Banda and his family actually were the beneficiaries.   

Malila said a head of state is given the trust by the people to do whatever is in the best interest of the citizens and not to make best deals for him.  

Malila said leaders who abuse the citizens’ trust will eventually be called upon to answer. 

"Our investigation has revealed that this was an oil deal with a Nigerian company in which he was involved and in which he didn’t perform quite to expectations as head of state.  And so, we want to see if the court can make some guidance on it.  We think, as [head of] government, that he may very well have abused his office contrary to the provisions of the Anti-Corruption act," he said.

Malila said the government has also asked its investigators to look into lavish campaign spending of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) during the run up to 2011 election.

"The MMD ran a very lucrative campaign.  They had all these branded balls, balloons and lollipops, motor vehicles and bicycles, those kinds of things coming in.  Quite obviously, those things cost quite a lot of money, and we asked our investigators to look at the source of that funding, and it may appear as if, again, the monies were acquired in a manner that is less than honest," Malila said.
Butty interview with Malila
Butty interview with Malilai
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

The Zambia National Assembly last month removed Banda’s legal immunity from prosecution paving the way for a trial.

Malila dismissed concerns in some circles that, by prosecuting a former president, Zambia was making it harder for other African leaders to voluntarily leave power for fear they, too, might be prosecuted.

“A head of state is given the trust by the people to do what is in the best interest of the people.  And, they are not given the power to make the best deals for themselves.  Once that power is used properly, it’s fine.  But, the moment that power is abused, then, quite obviously, the trust that the people have reposed in the president is equally abused and, in that case, I think it’s justified to try and bring the former president to account,” he said.

Malila said prosecuting Banda also sends a warning to those aspiring to be president and those currently serving as presidents that, while they exercise state power on behalf of the people, they are expected to carry out their responsibilities above board.

He said the Zambian judiciary is independent enough to give Banda a fair trial.

"Mr. Rupiah Banda himself is on record as having stated many times that our judiciary is very independent.  And, it’s the same judiciary; nothing has changed; it’s the same judges, the same magistrates.  These are the same ones that Mr. Rupiah Banda praised and he’s appearing before them.  So, we do expect that they will be as independent as Mr. Rupiah Banda has always professed they are," Malila said.

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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