Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Rupiah can flee - Scott
By Moses Kuwema and Christopher Miti in Chipata
Sun 07 July 2013, 14:01 CAT

VICE-PRESIDENT Guy Scott has defended the cancellation of Rupiah Banda's passport because the 'chap' can disappear. Vice-President Scott said the government didn't want to look stupid if Banda disappeared from Zambia like his son Henry.

"The problem that we have is that we have a chap Banda who is facing charges… we have a chap whose son is being sought by the police for the last 18 to 20 months and has not appeared in Zambia and has not answered any callout. They have not even made his whereabouts known.

Do you consider them a flight risk or not? I think it is only reasonable to say let us think about this thing and let us not let him disappear or go and start campaigning against us from outside like he is doing with Robert Amsterdam. They go to South Africa in order to hold a press conference against the PF. Or they write articles in newspapers against the PF in America," he said.

"We must take all factors into consideration. We will look stupid if he went off to some conference in Tanzania on smart partnership and we never saw him again. We will feel embarrassed. He is not locked up. He is free in Zambia but the question of leaving the country is a complicated one. It is not a simple one."

Featuring on Chipata's Breeze FM on Friday, Vice-President Scott said people should not confuse the cancellation of Banda's passport by the Ministry of Home Affairs with the court's order to have the passport returned to the former president after it was surrendered as a condition for bail.

The Vice-President said the cancellation of Banda's passport was totally different from the court order for the return of his passport.

"Don't confuse the two things. The court ordering the return of his passport which was surrendered to the court as a condition of bail and the cancellation by the Minister of Home Affairs of his diplomatic passport which is a matter subject to appeal and I think you have got 14 days in which to appeal and the minister has 14 days in which to explain. So the two things are different."

Vice-President Scott however, said the matter involving the cancellation of Banda's passport was being considered.

"Personally, I hope the conclusion of investigations will be that it is okay for him to travel," he said.

Meanwhile, Vice-President Scott said the PF has been telling opposition members of parliament not to resign from their political parties to join his party but instead work with them as ministers.
He said the PF had been avoiding by-elections as much as possible but that by-elections caused by the nullification of elections could not be avoided.

And paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni says the government should not give chance to the opposition to get rid of them.

Speaking when Vice-President Scott, who was accompanied by defence minister Geoffrey Mwamba, home affairs minister Edgar Lungu, foreign affairs minister Dr Effron Lungu, provincial minister Malozo Sichone and PF Chipata Central candidate Lameck Mangani paid a courtesy call on him at his Ephendukeni palace on Friday, Mpezeni urged the PF to do their best while in power in terms of service delivery.

"Don't give chance to your competitors to get rid of you. So make sure you give the best when you are in power. Don't give a chance to your enemy. When you enter the ring, don't give chance to your opponent, you have to guard. It is the same even here, don't let the enemy take advantage and say other things. So far you are doing well and the people that are seeing are able to appreciate, it is only the opposition who are complaining," he said.

Mpezeni also called for peaceful campaigns ahead of the July 25 by-election.

"If you kill a person, it means you have killed me. Arrest whoever is going to come with this bad habit of killing people. You know that we need clean game. We don't want anyone to be hacked with a panga like what occurred in other areas. Play your politics in a peaceful manner and let whoever wins the election do so in the right way," Mpezeni said.

Mpezeni also urged the government to consider declaring Feni a district and Chipata a city.

He also called for the expansion of the Great East Road, saying there were a lot of accidents on the road.

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