President Michael Sata has been accused of ordering the summoning of former President Rupiah Banda by the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC).
And International Lawyer Robert Amsterdam says it is absolutely improper, unconstitutional and wrong for ACC director general Rosewin Wandi to summon Mr. Banda for questioning.
MMD president Dr Nevers Mumba has said that it was shocking and appalling that the real abuse of both office and constitution were being perpetrated by President Sata and his PF government.
Dr Mumba said that the directive was from President Sata as he had indicated in the case of Wynter Kabimba that the ACC should not summon anyone of high standing without his knowledge.
He said it was now obvious that President Sata wished to freeze the constitution so that he could govern the country by decree.
Mr Robert Amsterdam told the Daily Nation via telephone interview that the move was orchestrated by the Patriotic Front government and was meant to divert people’s attention from real issues that were affecting Zambians.
He said also that the move was a clear indication of the declining rule of law and governance system under the ruling PF and President Sata.
“It is clear that this move is orchestrated by a government that is hiding from real issues and it does not hold water that a President could be summoned for interrogation. This is improper, unconstitutional and wrongful because it is s breach of the Zambian Constitution,” Amsterdam said.
And lawyers representing the former Head of State Sakwiba Sikota and Patrick Mvunga argued that Mr Banda enjoys immunity under Article 43 of the Constitution.
They stated in a letter written to ACC director general dated 05 February 2013 that the framers of the Constitution were minded to put in this Article for good reasons.
“It would be wrong for us to agree to a scheme that circumvents the Constitution of this land. If we are prepared to circumvent even the Constitution of the land what guarantees do we have that the other laws under which the proposed investigations and prosecutions will be held are 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,” read the letter.
The lawyers said that their client observed that the ACC wished to convict him through the Press before even going to court and that he was not ready to subject himself to a media trial.
“This is born 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” the letter read.
Meanwhile, former Siavonga Member of Parliament Douglas Syakalima said it was unconstitutional for President Sata to negotiate a constitution outside the law. Mr Syakalima noted that the decision by Ms Wandi to summon the former Head of State was a breach of the constitution therefore it should not be tolerated.
He charged that the move was championed by known people who for no reason have ignored that they owe Zambians huge sums of money and in an effort to divert people’s attention from what was real they decided to hold President Sata captive and ask him to go against the law.
“These are nominated criminals that are holding Mr Sata captive and are now engineering this move to embarrass the former head of State. “The Zambian Constitution has been breached and this is not the first time that it has not been respected. First the removal of the former ACC director general was a breach of the constitution because the Act was not followed. Forcing parliament to ratify Justice Chibesakunda is a breach of the law and against the court.
The former law maker charged that Zambia was now ruled by a bunch of crooks and this was evidenced by the pressure they were putting on the Head of State in an effort to free themselves from their offences.”Let Mr Sata free himself from the people that are breaking the law. What is the difference between Sata and RB?