TIZ challenges govt over RB passport

The continued persecution of former republican President Rupiah Banda has completely destroyed the image of Zambia, says former ambassador to Japan Joe Mwale.

And Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) has challenged government to explain to the nation whether the on law the benefits of the former Presidents, which provides among other benefits a diplomatic passport for the former president had been changed.

TIZ executive director Goodwell Lungu has written a letter to Home Affairs Minister Edgar Lungu demanding to know under which existing law former president Rupiah Banda’s diplomatic passport had been revoked.

In a letter dated July 4th 2013 to Home Affairs Minister, Mr Lungu explained that his organisation had looked at the law regarding t former president’s benefits and had found no section in the statute that had given authority to the State to revoke Mr Banda’s diplomatic passport.

Mr Mwale said in an interview with the Daily Nation that it was sad that government had continued to persecute Mr Banda as if he had been convicted by the courts of law.

“As much as Mr Banda is under investigations on the alleged corruption allegations as is being claimed by the state, he should not be subjected to the kind of humiliation and harassment that we have seen since the government stripped him of his immunity.  It is disheartening that in a country where transitions have ever been smooth, former leaders have always been hunted by their successors,” Mr Mwale said.

Mr Mwale said TIZ had every right to demand from Home Affairs Minister which law was used to revoke Mr Banda’s diplomatic passport so that the nation could be informed appropriately whether government had not breached the law regarding the benefits of the former president.

Mr Mwale said it was not fair that the former president had continued being humiliated and victimised when the office of the former president’s benefits were insulated by the statutes.

He stated that Zambia’s image has been tattered at the international level by not only poor governance but also the deteriorating levels of human rights under the PF government.

Mr Mwale explained that the PF government had severely damaged its image and that they would have to make drastic changes in the way they were running the affairs of the country.

Mr Mwale said the PF government were supposed to promote good governance by respecting the rule of law and ensure all Zambians were accorded their rights within the confines of the law.

“Disregarding the law is tantamount to abuse of both the legislative and presidential powers. The situation in Zambia is now out of hand. Persecuting the former head of state is not going to help the PF government deliver on the failed promises,” Mr Mwale said.

He said the decision by the PF administration to revoke the diplomatic passport of former president Rupiah Banda was not only improper but it undermined the separation of powers as set out in the republican constitution.

Mr Banda had for several times been denied opportunities to attend to international assignments and had his passports revoked.