Fri, 08 Feb 2013 15:18:27 +0000
President Michael Sata has been challenged to tell the nation whether former President Rupiah Banda’s immunity was secretly removed for him to be interrogated by the Anti-Corruption Commission and the government Joint Investigation wing.
Forum for Development and Democracy (FDD) spokesperson Antonio Mwanza told the Daily Nation that the stance taken by the PF government to subject the former President to investigations while enjoying his full immunity was a serious breach of the constitution, a matter which was impeachable.
” We want to remind the PF government and parliament that we have three arms of government and that calls to have President Sata impeached was a responsibility of parliament and therefore we challenge parliament to state whether what President Sata has done so far was illegal or legal and if so the course of action to be taken. We demand that parliament must respond to these constitutional breach allegations against the President, what is parliament doing about these issues of the constitutional breach. We challenge parliament to come out clear on these serious matters. We want parliament to come up with a position because they swore to protect and uphold the constitution of the land,” he said.
Mr. Mwanza said that as FDD, they would not allow a few individuals to rape the constitution for their own benefit but will stand up and provide leadership in critical times like this.
He said that what the PF has done was total abuse of the law as they did not meet the constitutional requirement.
“What the PF government has done over former President Rupiah Banda is a constitutional breach which Members of Parliament should respond to whether it was legal or illegal for government to summon the former President while enjoying his immunity for such advertised criminal investigations. Circumventing the law the way the PF regime wants to be doing things is an embarrassment to the governance system of the country as well as the justice system of the country. We have time and again stated that we don’t want our people to be tried through the media, we need to have respect for our court systems and not these kangaroo courts,” said Mr. Mwanza.
He said that the fight against corruption should be done in accordance with the rule of law and failure to obey and observe the rule of law in the fight against graft was total abuse of office by those in authority.
Mr. Mwanza wondered why the PF government did not use the correct procedure if they were convinced that Mr. Banda had committed crimes as they put it rather than using illegal means that would end up embarrassing the office of the president.
We challenge the Patriotic Front (PF) government to tell the nation whether they have secretly removed RB’s immunity for him to stand such embarrassing probes, if they have not done that then they are abusing the rule of law.
If he still enjoys his immunity, we remind the PF government to follow the normal procedure which is extremely clear on how investigations must be done on a former head of state and that must be backed with the evidence if they have it all,” he said.
Mr. Mwanza observed that the best way they should have preceded if they were sure about those allegations was to take the motion to parliament with evidence in order to have his immunity removed and not the way they were conducting themselves.
He said that it was sad that the corruption fight under the PF government was selective and vindictive, adding that the illegal move by ACC against former President Banda was a total abuse of the law which should not be tolerated by all law abiding Zambians.
And Mr. Mwanza has challenged the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the PF government to state how far they have gone into the Wynter Kabimba investigations of corruption and receiving kickbacks from an oil marketing company.
“Why have they allowed the matter to die a natural death? This government should not be selective in the fight against corruption