Wednesday, April 11, 2012
By Bright Mukwasa and Roy Habaalu
Wed 11 Apr. 2012, 13:29 CAT
HENRY Banda must come back home to answer questions before the investigative wings, says foreign affairs minister Given Lubinda. On Monday, home affairs minister Kennedy Sakeni said Henry's decision to hire high-profile international lawyer, Robert Amsterdam, gave insight into the amount of money he accumulated when his father ruled Zambia.
In an interview yesterday, Lubinda said he hates to imagine Henry Banda living a fugitive life and warned that the government would ensure that it got everyone on its wanted list.
"Whether or not we can reach Henry Banda in a foreign country is a question that everybody knows, the response is that yes as a sovereign state we are going to get all those who are on our wanted list. We shall get them irrespective of where they are and this issue is an issue which South African High Commissioner to Zambia Moses Chikane commented on saying they are ready to cooperate with Zambia for the sake of maintaining our diplomatic relations so it's just a matter of time," Lubinda said.
"He has to come back home one day or another, he will come back home, come back and answer the questions. All we are asking is for him to come and provide answers to the investigative wings of government and he must not think that it will continue to be sunshine for him. There will be a reason for him to come back home and I would hate to imagine him living a fugitive life."
He said Henry should avail himself and prove his innocence because nobody had judged him.
Lubinda, however, said if Henry will be found with a case, he would be taken to court where he could prove his innocence.
Meanwhile, Lubinda said there was nothing to celebrate about Malawian President Joyce Banda's ascension to that country's highest position but that the move showed that the whole world was ready for female leadership.
"Malawians voted for a female Vice-President who now because of the demise of the head of state is going to act as President, but it's nothing to celebrate," he said.
Meanwhile, Zambians for Empowerment and Development (ZED) president Dr Fred Mutesa said Zambia should learn from Malawi regarding the automatic ascension to power by a Vice-President to avoid costly presidential by-elections.
Dr Mutesa said the region was proud to see that there was a steady trend towards consolidation of respect for the rule of law as the acceptable mode of transfer of power.
"We can also learn from our Malawian neighbours that if we craft a constitution that upholds national interest, we can avoid costly by-elections which in this country continue to gobble billions of kwacha which could otherwise be better spent on development programmes that tackle poverty," he said.
"We therefore reiterate the need to build into our Constitution a vice-president who is elected as a presidential running mate and is empowered to automatically take-over executive presidential powers in the unfortunate event of something happening to any sitting president. This would ensure smooth continuity in the running of the country without the burden of a costly by-election."
Dr Mutesa commended President Banda for becoming the second woman head of state on the African continent after Liberia's Ellen Johnsaon Sirleaf and the first from the Southern African region.