Government says Immigration authorities at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport were within their rights to stop former Republican President Rupiah Banda from travelling as he was in the police watch list.
In a statement to ZANIS today, Information and Broadcasting Services Deputy Minister Mwansa Kapeya said the country is aware that Mr Banda was warned and cautioned by the Government Joint Investigation Team for many offences in which he is due to be arrested.
Mr Kapeya confirmed that the Government Joint Investigation Team has been keeping the Former President’s Passport as part of the Police Bond conditions in his ongoing corruption and abuse of office cases.
The Deputy Minister explained that when Mr Banda requested for the passport, the state complied with the court order and he was given his passport last evening to enable him travel to Kenya today to attend the inauguration of that country’s Fourth President.
He disclosed that Mr Banda was booked on Kenyan Airways Flight KQ724 which was due to depart at 11:00 hours which is 12:00 hours East African Time and arrive in Nairobi at 16:00 hours East African time.
Mr Kapeya noted that the inauguration ceremony in Nairobi started at 09:30 hours East African Time and ended at noon, saying Mr Banda would still have found the event long finished.
He wondered what the motive behind the Former Head of State’s desire to fly to Kenya was, even when he knew that he was late for the event.
Former Republican President Rupiah Banda’s flight to Kenya was this morning barred by the Government Joint Investigation Team at Kenneth Kaunda Airport.
Mr Banda was scheduled to attend the inauguration ceremony of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.