4 January 2012
THE Southern African Centre for Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) has backed calls to lift former Republican president Rupiah Banda’s immunity to pave way for investigations into alleged corrupt activities during his reign.
SACCORD information officer, Obbie Chibuluma, said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that there was nothing wrong with having Mr Banda’s immunity lifted to pave way for investigations.
Mr Chibuluma, however, urged Government to ensure that it had tangible evidence linking Mr Banda to corruption before tabling the matter in Parliament.
“There is nothing wrong with that. However, we would like to urge the State to have tangible evidence to avoid what happened in the past when Dr Frederick Chiluba’s immunity was lifted but was later acquitted in court,” he said.
Dr Chiluba’s immunity was lifted in 2002 after members of Parliament (MPs) unanimously voted in favour of the move to investigate him for alleged plunder of national resources during his decade rule.
Mr Chibuluma said the process would allow the former head of State to clear his name.
He, however, observed that it would be difficult to convince all MPs to vote in favour of the removal of Mr Banda’s immunity considering that the Patriotic Front (PF) did not have a majority in Parliament.
Mr Chibuluma was reacting to Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD) president, Charles Milupi’s appeal to Parliament to help the Executive in the fight against corruption by ensuring that Mr Banda’s immunity was lifted.
Mr Milupi said on Monday that it was becoming clear that most corrupt activities were committed under Mr Banda’s charge.
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Zambia: SACCORD Backs Calls to Lift Rupiah Banda’s Immunity