STATEMENT BY HON. FACKSON SHAMENDA, MP, ACTING MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES AND CHIEF GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON ON FORMER PRESIDENT RUPIAH BANDA AND THE JUST-ENDED BY-ELECTIONS
Government is disappointed with former President Rupiah Banda for continuing to shield his children from facing the law for suspected wrongdoing.
A case in point is when Mr Banda went to Woodlands Police station yesterday to see his son Andrew who was in police custody for alleged defamation of the President.
While there, and not unusual, he accused the Government of persecuting his children saying he will never allow his fugitive son Henry to return to Zambia to face the law, as reported in the media.
This is unfortunate and unacceptable for a former Head of State who swore to uphold the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia before which every citizen is equal.
It seems when he was in office, Mr Banda had two laws to govern this country – one for his family, another for ordinary citizens.
Which is why he is having difficulties to come to terms with the reality that, like all other citizens, his children are not above the law. They are liable for questioning or prosecution when they are suspected to have broken the law.
This is not persecution. This is justice which provides that all are equal before the law.
The former President’s utterances further vindicate Government’s decision to cancel his passport so that he does not evade justice like his son has done.
I wish, however, to assure Mr Banda that Government is not vindictive and that it will treat him with the respect he deserves, as former Head of State.
This Government respects the rule of law and will not interfere with the operations of law enforcement agencies in the investigations and prosecution of the former Head of State and his children suspected of wrongdoing.
On results from Thursday’s parliamentary by-elections, Government joins the PF Secretary General Hon. Wynter Kabimba, MP, in congratulating the winning political parties namely the ruling Patriotic Front, opposition MMD and UPND, on their victories.
Government also congratulates the electorate in the four constituencies on exercising their democratic right to choose leaders of their choice and for conducting themselves in a peaceful manner, before, during and after the by-elections.
The Zambia Police and other law enforcement agencies, also deserve commendation for ensuring that law and order prevailed during the by-elections.
Ultimately, the winner in these elections are the people of Zambia for whom and with whom we should all work in developing the country regardless of our political affiliation.
We have a duty, collectively and singularly, as citizens, to promote and preserve the good image of our country by acknowledging and embracing the positive strides we are making in deepening the country’s democracy and development. If we don’t, who will?
Hon. Fackson Shamenda, MP