Motion to lift RB’s immunity in parliament
Lusaka, March 15, 2013,ZANIS——————-Parliament this afternoon pushed a motion to lift former President Rupiah Banda’s immunity to facilitate thorough investigations by the Joint Investigations Team to probe the alleged plunder and abuse of office.
This was after several interjections from the opposition Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) Members of Parliament and their counterparts from the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND).
A heated debate generated when Justice Minister Winter Kabimba rose to move a motion to remove legal immunity in respect of the former President who is accused of having committed several offenses during his tenure of office involving billions of Kwacha.
Mr Kabimba, who is also Patriotic Front Secretary General contended that in terms of Article 43(3) of the constitution of Zambia, the house do resolve that Mr Banda who has held , but no longer holds the office of the President may be charged with any criminal offence or be amendable to the criminal jurisdiction of any court.
He said this is in respect of any act done or omitted to be done by him in his personal capacity while he held the office of President and that such proceedings would not be contrary to the interests of the state.
Opposition United Party for National Development Member of Parliament, Monze Central Member of Parliament Jack Mwimbu was first to rise on a point of order arguing that Mr Banda’s immunity should not be removed because of the injunction which was filed by his lawyer yesterday concerning the issue at hand.
But Speaker of the national Assembly Patrick Matibin ruled that Mr Kabimba was right and that he could go ahead contending that under the doctrines of separation of power, the house has unique powers to determine internal powers of the house in any case before it.
Due to the heated debate and several interjections from the opposition, the Speaker adjourned the house for close to two hours before it resumed at about 15:00 hours.
Mr Matibini, who after the adjournment gave a precedence of late former President Fredrick Chiluba whose immunity was removed during the late President Levy Mwanawasa regime, could still not convince the opposition MPs who later moved out of the house in protest leaving only MPs from the ruling party.
However, Speaker of the National Assembly instructed the Justice Minister to go ahead and move the motion in parliament without the opposition who moved out in protest.