“Those who think Kabimba is right to prosecute Banda should ask oneself how they would feel, as individuals, to stand in the former president’s shoes and stare in the face of jail based on punishment that will be inflicted, not by a general rule, but arbitrariness of the Patriotic Front finding itself to be in government and having influence over the justice system”
By Nyalubinge Ngwende
|Zambian Former President Rupiah Banda|
The Zambian Parliament on Friday, March 15, 2013 lifted immunity for its former President Rupiah Banda for alleged corruption. Banda, who lost power to the Patriotic Front leader Michael Sata in September 2011, had his immunity stripped off by an 80 to 3 parliamentary vote so that he could be amenable to criminal prosecution. He becomes the second Zambian former president under the MMD government, after Fredrick Chiluba, to lose presidential immunity over corruption charges.
Banda faces allegations of corrupt acts related to the funds he used to run, what the country’s ruling party PF considers the most expensive presidential election campaign in the country’s history. He also faces a Nija-Oil-Gate Scandal in which government paid US$2.5 million for 44,000 barrels of fuel to be supplied on a daily basis, but the proceeds of fuel sales allegedly went to Singapore in a Barclays Bank account belonging to his son, Henry. Another charge relates to a loan procured from a foreign company for a real estate trust, Mpundu Trust, by first lady Thandiwe Banda.