Thursday, February 07, 2013

Rupiah Refuses to Attend ACC Probe

Rupiah Refuses to Attend ACC Probe
By Mwala Kalaluka and Kombe Chimpinde
Thu 07 Feb. 2013, 14:00 CAT

FORMER president Rupiah Banda says he is not prepared to subject himself to a media trial.

But Dr Ludwig Sondashi says the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC's) summoning of Banda over a corruption probe is indicative that the state has a good case to ask Parliament to remove his immunity.

Meanwhile, Banda's administrative secretary Mikatazo Wakumelo says they will not go round circles over the former president's summoning by the ACC.

In his letter dated February 5, 2013, addressed to ACC director general Rosewin Wandi in response to his being invited for interviews over allegations of corruption and criminal activities, Banda said through his lawyers Central Chambers, that it would be wrong for him to agree to a scheme that circumvents the Constitution of the land.

"We refer to the above matter and your letter of the 4th February 2013
which has been handed over to us with instructions to reply," the
letter read. "As rightly stated in your letter, our client His Excellency the former president of the Republic of Zambia Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda enjoys immunity under Article 43 of the Constitution.

The framers of the Constitution were minded to put in this Article for good reasons."
Banda stated that if the government was prepared to circumvent even the
Constitution, he wondered what guarantees he had that the other laws under which the proposed investigations and prosecutions would be held were going to be followed.

"We have read in the newspapers that the press are already aware of the steps you are taking and looking at the editorial deadlines the papers have and the time when the letter was delivered to our client's residence, it is clear that the press had the letter even before it was delivered to our client," the letter read further.

"Our client has seen that you wish to have a conviction through the press before you even go to court. This is borne out by the fact that you saw fit to leak your letter to all the state media and the press you consider favourable to the state. Our client is not prepared to subject himself to a media trial."

Sakwiba Sikota, who signed on the letter, advised that all further
communications on this matter to be directed through Messrs Mvunga
Associates, who were their co-counsels.

But Dr Sondashi, a former justice minister and Forum for
Democratic Alternatives president, said that Banda's alleged corrupt activities when he served as president could not be disputed, whether he agreed to appear before ACC or not.
"Rupiah Banda engaged in corruption and he allowed his children and other people in government to steal. I feel that the state has a good case to ask for his immunity to be removed by Parliament," Dr Sondashi said.
"My recommendation is let ACC make a good report to the President of facts because I believe there are so many facts. I don't know why ACC has used this procedure. Precedence has been made in Zambia on how to go about issues surrounding a former head of state. Let them prepare
that evidence and put it to Parliament so that Parliament can remove
his immunity just as Chiluba's immunity was removed."

Dr Sondashi also expressed displeasure with MMD leader Nevers Mumba for saying that the summoning of Banda was part of the on-going harassment of MMD officials in a bid to devastate the party.
"There is no need for Nevers Mumba to throw his weight behind Rupiah
Banda. Rupiah Banda does not need anyone to defend to him. There is no
need to raise a fracas over the matter," he said. "As far as I know in
this country, most Zambians do not want a trend where heads of state
steal from the people, so opposition members who are worth being
members of opposition parties are supposed to vote for the removal of
Rupiah Banda's immunity once his case has been laid out."

He said the correct procedure of prosecuting Banda must be followed so
that those defending him are not provided with any excuses as to why
his immunity must not be lifted.

"Let us follow that step so that we avoid unnecessary bickering which
appears to be coming up. Summoning of Banda may turn out be an
academic exercise, as he has powers not to attend to their summons,"
Dr Sondashi said. "There are no legal avenues apart from removing
immunity. If the government is convinced that Banda abused his
authority, much as I am convinced myself, they should take the road of
removing immunity from him after that, then he can be answerable to
anybody."

Meanwhile, when asked if Banda would appear before the public
investigative wings today, Wakumelo said as far as he was concerned,
Banda's lawyers had responded to the issue.

"State Counsel (Sakwiba Sikota) has already written a letter,"
Wakumelo said. "The State Counsel has written to Wandi so
you contact the director general. The position is that we can't be
going round circles. The issue is Sakwiba Sikota has written to the
ACC which has summoned the former president."

But chief government spokesperson Kennedy Sakeni says Banda should face the allegations leveled against him because he is immune prosecution, not investigations.

In a statement yesterday, Sakeni stated that Banda had been requested by law enforcement agencies to answer allegations leveled against him in ongoing corruption investigations.

"They have told him that whilst they respect his immunity, he should consider attending the interview to clear the air. There is nothing unconstitutional about this," he stated. "The government would like to advise all those who want to play national politics to learn to be honest. Misrepresenting facts will not take them anywhere.

"Mr Banda is immune to prosecution and not investigations. So, let him face the allegations leveled against him," he stated.

Sakeni stated that attacking President Michael Sata would not take away the allegations that Banda was facing.

"Let Mr Banda answer the corruption allegations because there is nothing illegal that law enforcement agencies have done," said Sakeni.
http://www.postzambia.com/post-read_article.php?articleId=30217

Rupiah Refuses to Attend ACC Probe
By Mwala Kalaluka and Kombe Chimpinde
Thu 07 Feb. 2013, 14:00 CAT

FORMER president Rupiah Banda says he is not prepared to subject
himself to a media trial.

But Dr Ludwig Sondashi says the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC's) summoning of Banda over a corruption probe is indicative that the state has a good case to ask Parliament to remove his immunity.
Meanwhile, Banda's administrative secretary Mikatazo Wakumelo says they will not go round circles over the former president's summoning by the ACC.

In his letter dated February 5, 2013, addressed to ACC director general Rosewin Wandi in response to his being invited for interviews over allegations of corruption and criminal activities, Banda said through his lawyers Central Chambers, that it would be wrong for him to agree to a scheme that circumvents the Constitution of the land.

"We refer to the above matter and your letter of the 4th February 2013
which has been handed over to us with instructions to reply," the
letter read. "As rightly stated in your letter, our client His Excellency the former president of the Republic of Zambia Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda enjoys immunity under Article 43 of the Constitution.

The framers of the Constitution were minded to put in this Article for good reasons."
Banda stated that if the government was prepared to circumvent even the
Constitution, he wondered what guarantees he had that the other laws under which the proposed investigations and prosecutions would be held were going to be followed.

"We have read in the newspapers that the press are already aware of the steps you are taking and looking at the editorial deadlines the papers have and the time when the letter was delivered to our client's residence, it is clear that the press had the letter even before it was delivered to our client," the letter read further.

"Our client has seen that you wish to have a conviction through the press before you even go to court. This is borne out by the fact that you saw fit to leak your letter to all the state media and the press you consider favourable to the state. Our client is not prepared to subject himself to a media trial."

Sakwiba Sikota, who signed on the letter, advised that all further
communications on this matter to be directed through Messrs Mvunga
Associates, who were their co-counsels.

But Dr Sondashi, a former justice minister and Forum for
Democratic Alternatives president, said that Banda's alleged corrupt activities when he served as president could not be disputed, whether he agreed to appear before ACC or not.
"Rupiah Banda engaged in corruption and he allowed his children and other people in government to steal. I feel that the state has a good case to ask for his immunity to be removed by Parliament," Dr Sondashi said.
"My recommendation is let ACC make a good report to the President of facts because I believe there are so many facts. I don't know why ACC has used this procedure. Precedence has been made in Zambia on how to go about issues surrounding a former head of state. Let them prepare
that evidence and put it to Parliament so that Parliament can remove
his immunity just as Chiluba's immunity was removed."

Dr Sondashi also expressed displeasure with MMD leader Nevers Mumba for saying that the summoning of Banda was part of the on-going harassment of MMD officials in a bid to devastate the party.
"There is no need for Nevers Mumba to throw his weight behind Rupiah
Banda. Rupiah Banda does not need anyone to defend to him. There is no
need to raise a fracas over the matter," he said. "As far as I know in
this country, most Zambians do not want a trend where heads of state
steal from the people, so opposition members who are worth being
members of opposition parties are supposed to vote for the removal of
Rupiah Banda's immunity once his case has been laid out."

He said the correct procedure of prosecuting Banda must be followed so
that those defending him are not provided with any excuses as to why
his immunity must not be lifted.

"Let us follow that step so that we avoid unnecessary bickering which
appears to be coming up. Summoning of Banda may turn out be an
academic exercise, as he has powers not to attend to their summons,"
Dr Sondashi said. "There are no legal avenues apart from removing
immunity. If the government is convinced that Banda abused his
authority, much as I am convinced myself, they should take the road of
removing immunity from him after that, then he can be answerable to
anybody."

Meanwhile, when asked if Banda would appear before the public
investigative wings today, Wakumelo said as far as he was concerned,
Banda's lawyers had responded to the issue.

"State Counsel (Sakwiba Sikota) has already written a letter,"
Wakumelo said. "The State Counsel has written to Wandi so
you contact the director general. The position is that we can't be
going round circles. The issue is Sakwiba Sikota has written to the
ACC which has summoned the former president."

But chief government spokesperson Kennedy Sakeni says Banda should face the allegations leveled against him because he is immune prosecution, not investigations.

In a statement yesterday, Sakeni stated that Banda had been requested by law enforcement agencies to answer allegations leveled against him in ongoing corruption investigations.

"They have told him that whilst they respect his immunity, he should consider attending the interview to clear the air. There is nothing unconstitutional about this," he stated. "The government would like to advise all those who want to play national politics to learn to be honest. Misrepresenting facts will not take them anywhere.

"Mr Banda is immune to prosecution and not investigations. So, let him face the allegations leveled against him," he stated.

Sakeni stated that attacking President Michael Sata would not take away the allegations that Banda was facing.

"Let Mr Banda answer the corruption allegations because there is nothing illegal that law enforcement agencies have done," said Sakeni.

Labels: , ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home