Former Zambia president Rupiah Banda gets benefits order

Former Zambia President Rupiah Banda. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • According to the Zambian Constitution Mr Banda, as former head of state, is entitled to a tax-free monthly pension at 80 per cent of the incumbent President’s emoluments.
  • Mr Banda was quoted by local media last week saying withdrawing his benefits amounts to robbery because he had worked for them.

LUSAKA

Former Zambia President Rupiah Banda is likely to lose his retirement benefits following his return to active politics, local media reported today.

Mr Banda, 77, ruled Zambia from 2008 to 2011 until he lost to late Michael Sata of the governing Patriotic Front.

“The government has given Mr Banda a week to surrender back state property and other benefits of a former president now that he has returned to active politics, “reported the privately-owned daily The Post.

According to the Zambian Constitution Mr Banda, as former head of state, is entitled to a tax-free monthly pension at 80 per cent of the incumbent President’s emoluments, a furnished executive house built or bought in Zambia by the state at a place of a former president’s choice.

He also gets office accommodation, three drivers, three motor vehicles with free maintenance and fuel entitlement to the extent determined by Cabinet.

“Government sources indicated that a letter to withdraw the benefits and signed by Secretary to the Cabinet Roland Msiska was sent to Mr Banda on Monday.

They don’t want him to be using government property in his campaigns, so he has been asked to return them. He has been given one week, “reported the paper quoting unnamed sources.

However, Mr Banda, who the paper reported had seen the letter, has asked his lawyers to intervene.

Mr Banda was quoted by local media last week saying withdrawing his benefits amounts to robbery because he had worked for them.
Among other benefits Mr Banda is enjoying is one personal secretary, three security persons, one administrative assistant at the level of deputy permanent secretary, three house employees, a diplomatic passport and medical insurance for the former president and his spouse. 
Mr Banda’s return to politics has been met with resistance with legislators from his own party, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy,electing to support an opposition leader.