President Michael Sata has dismissed insinuations by former prersident Rupiah Banda’s camp on the possibility of removing the later’s immunity so that he could face prosecution. President Sata, in a statement issued by his press aide George Chellah, said neither his party, the Patriotic Front (PF) nor his government have discussed the “removal of anybody’s immunity.”
Mr. Banda’s administrative secretary, Mikatazo Wakumelo issued a statement on Octoober 16 in which he said the former leader was ready to be investigated on allegations of selling gold which had been in possession of the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) and at first believed to be sold to a Swiss National, Nicolae Bogdan Buzaianu who presently has been cleared of all charges. It was later discovered that Dr. Buzaianu flew into Lusaka to make Mr. Banda aware that he was voluntarily stepping down from his UNESCO post to pursue other ventures.
The State House statement, however, said the zero-tolerance stance against corruption adopted by the new administration was irreversible and that government was firm on its fight against the vice both in the public and private sector. “During the campaigns we made an undertaking that we shall robustly fight corruption and we shall do just that. The policy of this government is that any person who has aggrieved the Zambian people economically and otherwise, in the past or present, must face the law. ” Mr Sata is quoted as saying. “Make no mistake about it, because we are resolute on combating corruption and all its offshoots even if it means losing friends. We are ready to make that sacrifice for the sake of the Zambian people whom we promised and as a result they gave us the mandate to preside over this country’s affairs.” President Sata said the law enforcement agencies will investigate any past and present acts of corruption and ensure that the culprits are prosecuted within the due process of the law. “I’m confident that professionalism and exemplary ethical conduct shall be the bedrock of this process,” says the President.
The President emphasized that the crusade against corruption will be done without malice or witch-hunt and shall be non-selective because he does not believe in selective justice. “This government has not made a decision at any level regarding the removal of anybody’s immunity. And nobody has even talked about it either from the party or government’s side. It is therefore, preposterous that some political stakeholders and leaders among us are attempting to frustrate this crusade by throwing innuendoes and half-truths on this noble cause,” says President Sata. “I must repeat that, we are unwavering on this score and nothing other than justice shall prevail. As for those who have expediently decided to side with corruption and the corrupt, we leave it to the Zambian people to see and know them for who they are and what they stand for. A moment ago, we all campaigned on the platform of fighting corruption, so what has changed?”