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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs