News / Africa

Zambia Seeks to Lift Former President Banda’s Immunity

Zambia's former President Rupiah Banda arrives at the Presidential Guest House for Extra-Ordinary Summit in Pretoria, South Africa, January 26, 2009.
Zambia's former President Rupiah Banda arrives at the Presidential Guest House for Extra-Ordinary Summit in Pretoria, South Africa, January 26, 2009.
Peter Clottey
Zambia’s information minister says the government plans to ask parliament to cancel former president Rupiah Banda’s immunity from prosecution after he refused to talk with investigators from the country’s anti-graft commission.

“The government of Mr. Rupiah Banda is actually said to have been involved in massive plunder of our resources. He was invited to answer some allegations against him, but he refused,” said Information minister Kennedy Sakeni. “So government has no alternative rather than to lift his immunity. And that can be done by taking it to parliament as per our laws.”                                                           

Under the Zambia’s constitution, parliament is the only institution that can lift the immunity of a former head of state.

Sakeni also took a swipe at Zambia’s political opposition, saying it was creating tension and clashing with police.

At a recent joint press conference in South Africa, opposition leaders accused Zambian President Michael Sata’s government of stifling democracy and called for it to be suspended from the Commonwealth of Nations.

“The country is under assault, our democracy is under assault... The signs on the ground are very similar to what happened in Uganda with Idi Amin in terms of how the president and government is managing the opposition,” said Nevers Mumba, leader of the main opposition Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD).

Information minister Sakeni disagreed.

“The key point is that how do you hold a press conference outside your country on issues you can even raise within your country? Basically, I don’t understand what the motive is because the conditions in our country, I think we are the best among African countries in terms of good governance and the way we run public affairs,” said Sakeni.

“They peddled lies saying in this country they are not allowed to hold press conferences and that they are never allowed to hold public meetings. But barely three weeks ago, Mr. Hakainde Hichilema held a public rally in Lusaka though it was poorly attended,” he added.  

Opposition political parties have accused the government of using state institutions to intimidate and harass their leaders, which they said tramples on their rights of free speech, assembly and association as enshrined in the constitution.

Sakeni counters by saying that opposition leaders have refused to respect the country’s laws.

“There are laws governing this country and when the police tell you that ‘please, do not hold this gathering today because we fear something bad might happen,’ why can’t you adhere to that? Why do you make a mystery out of a simple advice from the police?” asked Sakeni.

Clottey interview with Kennedy Sakeni, Zambia informatiion minister
Clottey interview with Kennedy Sakeni, Zambia informatiion ministeri
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
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 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 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. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
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