Give RB fair trial-fr Bwalya

The due process of the law and justice should be allowed to prevail in all court cases involving former president Rupiah Banda, says opposition Alliance for Better Zambia (ABZ) leader Fr Frank Bwalya.

Bwalya who said he was no longer enemies with the former Head of State, revealed that president Banda had assured him of his visits if he went to jail for likening President Michael Sata to a rigid sweet potato (Chumbu Munshololwa).

He said however it was for the courts of law to determine the outcome of the allegations that the former Head of State was facing.

Bwalya said he had reconciled with president Banda when the two met in Johannesburg, South Africa during the memorial service of former South African President Nelson Mandela.

He said they had talked about the mistakes Zambia had made and how they could be corrected.

The ABZ leader said it was the reconciliation that prompted him to give moral support to president Banda when he appeared in the magistrates’ court on March 8.

“We also joked about what happened during the election campaigns, including the red card campaign, prior to the 2011 tripartite elections. That was the first time I met RB on a one-to-one basis. Since then, we have been talking and I think that he appreciates who I am very much.

“He has told me that he regrets the reality that he had no chance to meet me earlier. We have also drank tea and watched English soccer together. He was very happy to learn that I like soccer and that I support Manchester United, a team that one of his sons supports,” he said.

He said the two had something in common as they were both appearing before the courts despite his case being in a Kasama court and that he went to court to demonstrate his appreciation regardless of what other people might think about him.

“I went to court not to send a signal that RB is innocent until proven guilty. I went to court to support RB to show the world that I differed with RB the president and not RB the person. I also went to court to support RB and send a powerful signal that I didn’t hate RB and I don’t hate Mr Michael Chilufya Sata (MCS);

“At a time when President Sata had threatened to sort out our Bishop Right Reverend George Lungu of Chipata diocese, I saw it wise and appropriate to show solidarity with the man (RB) who diverted his plane a few years to go to Rome to see Bishop Lungu when he was hospitalized there at the height of differences between the MMD government and the Catholic Church over demands for a people driven republican constitution,” Bwalya said.

“Therefore, I think that his mistakes, real or perceived can’t outweigh his goodwill and thoughtfulness,” he said.