Sata accuses Banda of trying to seek asylum in S. Africa


Zambian President Michael Sata on Thursday accused his predecessor, Rupiah Banda, of trying to seek criminal asylum in South Africa to run away from his alleged involvement in corruption activities during his rule.

President Sata, speaking during a swearing-in ceremony of an opposition lawmaker as a deputy minister in the ministry of agriculture, said the government was aware that the former president had been frequenting South Africa seeking for asylum.

The Zambian leader however said even if the former president was granted asylum, the government will ensure that he is extradited and brought back to Zambia so that his immunity is removed in order to pave way for investigations in his alleged corrupt activities.

The Zambian leader however revealed that his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma was not willing to grant Banda asylum.

There have been increased calls to have Banda's immunity lifted so that he could be investigated for alleged corruption during his reign after he refused to appear before law enforcement agencies last week for questioning.

The law enforcement agencies summoned Banda to question him in connection with corruption and other criminal activities but the former leader declined to present himself before the officers, saying he still enjoys immunity.

The government has since indicated that it will ask Parliament to lift his immunity, a move that has been backed by interest groups such as corruption watchdog, Transparency International Zambia.

The organization has since stated that it will mobilize citizens to demonstrate to ensure that Parliament lifts Banda's immunity. (Xinhua)