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

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals 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.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More