Chief Government Spokesperson Kennedy Sakeni has challenged former President Rupiah Banda to prove his allegations that President Michael Sata was stocking ethnic tensions in the country.
Mr. Sakeni, who is also Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, said Mr. Banda‘s insinuations during his press conference held in Rosebank in South Africa by some Zambian opposition political leaders should be proved beyond all reasonable doubt.
He named those that accompanied Mr. Banda to South Africa as Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) president Nevers Mumba and United Party for National Development president Hakainde Hichilema.
Mr. Sakeni said in a press statement that during Mr. Banda’s press conference in a foreign country, the former Head of State accused government of harassing, intimidating and attacking members of the opposition as well as trying to enforce the one party state in the country.
He said Mr. Banda also called for the suspension of Zambia from the Commonwealth on account of the baseless accusations of violations of human rights.
He reminded Mr. Banda that government was aware of his direct links to immature and embarrassing unpatriotic and fruitiness schemes which will not yield any results on his party and his supporters.
Mr. Sakeni stated that government was also fully aware that Mr. Banda has been in South Africa on two occasions in the company of his press aid Dickson Jere.
He said Mr. Banda has been to South Africa on February 6, 2013 with unknown motives and that he only returned to Zambia on February 7, 2013.
Mr. Sakeni further said Mr. Banda again left for South Africa on February 8, 2013 adding that the following day on February 9, 2013, Pastor Nevers Mumba, who was accompanied by a Pastor Nakachinda similarly left for South Africa for unknown motives.
He revealed that the UPND leader, in the company of Jack Mwiimbu, also left for the same destination on February 10, 2013, stating that the results of these hasty trips were today’s sponsored press conference in Rosebank in South Africa.
Mr. Sakeni has since advised Mr. Banda and his newly constituted ‘defence team’ of Dr. Mumba, Mr. Hichilema and Mr. Sakwiba Sikota that his cases will only be determined within the Zambian jurisdiction.
He further warned Mr. Banda and his team not to make any mistake because the Patriotic Front (PF) government was resolved to seek justice with regards to Mr. Banda and his children’s alleged involvement in the plunder of the country’s public resources.
“The allegation of corruption against Mr. Banda and his family were not only made by the PF government. They were also made by Mr. Hichilema following the heightened international concern about the levels of corruption in his government,” Mr. Sakeni said.
He disclosed that government will follow the laid down legal procedures and processes to seek justice for the Zambian people in regard to Mr. Banda‘s cases.
He said no amount of political blackmail and media stunts will stop government from fulfilling the campaign promises the PF made to the Zambian people before and after the 2011 general elections.
Mr. Sakeni narrated that due to some donor’s concern about the rampant corruption during Mr. Banda’s administration, the former Head of State was prompted to tell donors to pack and leave the nation.
The Chief Government Spokesperson further said the PF government has accorded Mr. Banda respect to avail himself to the joint investigation team but it (government) was wondering why he was scared to be questioned.
Mr. Sakeni said Mr. Banda would have held his press conference here in Zambia rather than rushing to South Africa to issue such unfounded accusations against government.
He said if Mr. Banda has done nothing wrong, he should face the law enforcement agencies and clears his name as opposed to rushing to hold press conferences which will not be able to clear him against the allegations levelled against him.
And on Dr. Nevers Mumba, Mr. Sakeni said the MMD leader was facing some criminal cases in courts of law for suspected abuse of public resources while the UPND leader was also facing cases before the court of law for issuing reckless statements over a sovereign state of Sudan.
Mr. Sakeni said Mr. Hichilema alleged that the PF government was recruiting militias in that country but the opposition leader rudely turned down the opportunity he was given to retract his statement.