I know my father, he is very stressed-Andrew Banda


ANDREW Banda says he is not broken that he has been sent back to jail for corrupt practices.

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But Andrew complains that there are individuals with similar serious offences who are not being conclusively pursued because they are part of the system.

Andrew, a former first secretary at the Zambian mission in India and former president Rupiah Banda’s eldest son, had appealed against the two-year jail term slapped on him for soliciting and receiving two per cent gratification from Italian contractor, Fratelli Locci SRI, on all road contracts awarded to the firm by the government.

However, Lusaka High Court judge Mwila Chitabo in his judgment on Andrew’s appeal on Monday dismissed the application in its entirety and subsequently upheld then Lusaka chief resident magistrate Joshua Banda’s holding when he convicted him for the offence.

But Andrew said in an interview on Tuesday in Lusaka Central Prison [Chimbokaila] that he was not depressed with the outcome and that he would pursue all the available legal means to ensure the case came to an end.

“We should prepare to find ourselves in here [prison]. The night was okay, I was very relaxed. I am not broken, I am not depressed. First of all it was expected, it would have been naïve of me to have thought there would be a reversal,” he said. “I have to accept that I am here, of course, I will appeal. I stated it very clearly yesterday [Monday]. You have to understand that as much as it is an issue which involves myself, it has also political connotations of its own.”

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Andrew said he was aware of the fact that he was not with the system and prison was the best place to keep him.

“There are some old cases which have not even been pursued to their conclusiveness but in my case they made sure that very quickly [deal with it], even the appeal was fast-tracked to ensure that I am nailed to the cross. There are people who have committed more serious offences but because they are on the side of the system [they are free]!” Andrew complained.

Andrew also disclosed that his father had sent some of his ‘people’ to visit him in jail.

“He sent his people, he is out, he is in South Africa, but I can imagine what is going through his mind as a father. Knowing him the way he is, it must be terrible,” he stressed.

When reminded that he had tried to have the delivery of the Monday appeal judgment deferred on claims that he was not feeling well, Andrew said: “Even now, you check with the hospital, even now my BP, not just yesterday, I am going back to check at two O’clock. The tragedy with my BP I do not physically feel it, it is internal.”

He said he would leave everything in God’s hands.

“I do not want to choose words. But one thing is I am not broken and one thing you must get very clearly is that I am not somebody who can easily compromise and perhaps that is what is putting me in this kind of a situation,” said Andrew.

“But when I look at all this case, there was Locci, an old man I worked with, he was co-accused. He never took his contract away from me…but here is a system that allows a foreigner to get away with a crime if at all I committed a crime, but you pursue your own citizen. Look at the state’s interest at that time in my case, without going into details, there was so much interest in the case.”

Andrew said he was constitutionally entitled to appeal in the Supreme Court.

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