Rampant corruption caused lifting of RB’s immunity – NGO
Livingstone, Mar 18/13 ZANIS————A Non Governmental Organization in Livingstone has observed that rampant corruption in the country necessitated the lifting of former President, Rupiah Banda’s immunity from prosecution to pave way for investigations.
Contact Trust Youth Association (CTYA) Programs Coordinator, Sibu Malambo, said the lifting of Mr Banda’s immunity by Parliament was a welcome move as it would accord the former Head of State an opportunity to defend himself against the corruption allegations levelled against him.
Speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Livingstone today, Mr Malambo said the lifting of Mr Banda’s immunity would also establish whether Mr Banda was guilty of corruption or not once investigations were concluded.
Mr Malambo, however, expressed concern over the route the investigation would take.
He noted that the late former President, Frederick Chiluba’s immunity, was also lifted to investigate corruption charges levelled against him when he left office but what was spent on the investigations was even more than what was recovered.
“One major concern, however, is that we have been through this route before. The late Dr Chiluba’s immunity was lifted and there was a task force put in place to investigate and recover whatever was allegedly stolen by Chiluba but unfortunately, to date, more resources were spent on investigating him than what was actually recovered,” he said.
To that effect, Mr Malambo cautioned government to be prudent with the use of tax payers’ money and use already existing agencies like the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) to spearhead the investigation as opposed to establishing new bodies.
Mr Malambo said the establishing of new bodies to investigate cases of this nature was detrimental to the country’s development as people who were already in gainful employment would be engaged as staff in the newly established institutions at the expense of unemployed people.
He charged that the country had a lot of challenges such as high poverty levels, and disasters which needed government’s attention and as such tax payers’ money needed to be put to good use even as Mr Banda was being investigated for corruption.
Parliament removed former Republican President, Rupiah Banda’s immunity, from prosecution last Friday due to alleged corrupt activities and misappropriation of public funds during the time he served as Head of State.