Former president Rupiah Banda yesterday left for South Africa to seek medical treatment and has assured President Michael Sata that he would not abuse the love, trust and confidence shown to him.
This follows personal instructions issued by President Sata who ordered that the former head of state be issued with a new passport after his old one was cancelled by the Ministry of Home Affairs in unexplained circumstances.
Previous attempts by the former president had been thwarted by prosecution authorities who claimed that the former president was not only a flight risk but would also interfere with witnesses and should not therefore be allowed to travel out of the country.
Speaking before he left president Banda thanked President Sata for the trust and confidence shown in him.
“I want to exclusively thank President Sata for having ignored all insinuations which were in bad faith and magnanimously allowed me to seek medical attention.
“I will prove to them that they are wrong because this is my country and I will come back. My team and I shall not abuse President Sata’s trust. We shall comply with the law,” president Banda said.
He has been accompanied by his wife Thandiwe and his administrative assistant Mikatazo Wakumelo.
And civil rights activist Brebner Changala said president Banda would shame the critics who had ill feelings about him because he was going to return home.
Changala said it was wrong for some people in government to label him as a flight risk and that from now on they should stop dividing the nation at a political level.
He said the former head of state had assured all the people that accompanied and saw him off at the KennethKaundaInternationalAirport that he would return home because he was not a person that abused the law.
President Banda is expected back home before the 20th October as the court order allowed him to be back by that date.