A Non-Governmental Organization in Kitwe has backed calls for the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to investigate former Republican President Rupiah Banda over corruption allegations.
Democratic Governance and Human Rights Advocates (DEGHA) National Coordinator Gerald Mutelo said there is nothing wrong with the ACC summoning Mr Banda for question because the former president is only immune to prosecution.
Mr Mutelo said investigating Mr Banda was one way for him to clear his name over the overwhelming corruption allegations levelled against him.
He further argued that although Mr Banda is enjoying immunity, he is still predisposed to probe over criminal allegations by the ACC because the task force is just on a fact finding mission without intentions of prosecuting him.
He added that it is not against the law or Constitution to question him and give him a chance to defend himself.
Former President Rupiah Banda was on Monday this week summoned by the ACC for questioning by the Joint Government investigative Task Force but he did not show up on Wednesday when he was supposed to appear claiming that the summon was against the Constitution.
And a senior citizen in Kitwe has cautioned government to ensure that the investigations against Mr Banda do not lead to the lifting of his immunity.
Gideon Kamponge said lifting of Mr Banda’s immunity will set a bad precedence as Zambia will have a trend of lifting immunity for all former presidents and subjecting them to investigations and prosecution over various criminal activities.
He however said that if some people feel that there is overwhelming evidence that the former president had engaged in gross corruption, his immunity should be lifted before he can be subjected to questioning by the Government Investigative Task Force.
Since independence, Zambia has had four past presidents and among them, First President Kenneth Kaunda and his successor Fredrick Chiluba, the, latter had his immunity lifted while Third President Levy Mwanawasa died before the end of his second term in office.
Fourth Republican President Rupiah Banda’s immunity hangs as calls mount for him to be questioned over allegations of corruption while he was in office, a situation that might lead to the lifting of his immunity and ultimately prosecution.