Rupiah Banda’s questioning adjourned

Rupiah Banda
Rupiah Banda

Former Republican President Rupiah Banda whose immunity from legal prosecution was lifted by parliament today appeared before the Government Joint Investigative Team (GJIT) for the second day.


Meanwhile, Government Joint Investigations Team spokesperson Namukolo Kasumpa told journalists that the former head of state has been interrogated under a warn and caution and that the proceedings have been adjourned to Friday this week.


Mr. Banda’s lawyers Sakwiba Sikota, Ireen Kunda and Professor Patrick Mvunga arrived at the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) offices at around 08:50 hours.


Access to the DEC offices was again restricted when Mr. Banda arrived to appear before the GJIT for interrogations in the corruption related allegations.


Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) cadres were today  restricted from being anywhere near the DEC offices.


The cadres who were led by MMD Die Hard coordinator Bowman Lusambo were standing 120 metres away from the DEC offices where they flashed the party symbol and chanted slogans under police guard at the junction of Government and Jacaranda roads.


The former head of state arrived at the DEC offices at 09:46 hours accompanied by Administrative Officer in the office of the Fourth president Mikatazo Wakumelo.


Unlike yesterday, a few Members of Parliament (MPs) came to give support to the former Head of State today.


Those that were present at the DEC offices were MMD Spokes person Dora

Siliya, vice president for Administration Brian Chituwo and National Chairman Kabinga Pande.


After the interrogations that took over 3 hours, Mr. Banda came out of the DEC offices in the company of his lawyers Sakwiba Sikota, Ireen Kunda and  Prof Patrick Mvunga.


Meanwhile, one of the lawyers of the former president Sakwiba  Sikota has noted that the whole investigation is frustrating because the investigators do not seem to have evidence toback their allegations against their client.


“We are frustrated as lawyers because we have seen cases that are being investigated but this one is different one,” said Mr. Sikota.

“When we went inside the interview room, we saw a sign which was written ‘gone fishing’, so we thought that there would be no investigations today,” He added.


Mr. Sikota claimed that the interrogation process is a waste of both tax payer’s money and time.


He said that if in future people would want to lay charges against any one, it is better they do that when they have gathered enough evidence.


“It appears they have nothing, they are trying to find something to charge his excellence with,” Mr. Sikota said.


Mr. Sikota noted that of all the cases that he has witnessed under investigations, this was different in that it is motivated by people that want the former president to be found with a case to answer.


“Whatever motives they have, they are ill motives”. Mr. Sikota said.


And when asked how he felt about the investigations, Mr. Banda said he is not feeling anything but has left his case in the hands of the lawyers to handle it.


He said he ruled this country well and does not remember stealing anything.


Meanwhile, GJIT Spokesperson Namukolo Kasumpa has disclosed that the team has  interviewed Mr. Banda under a warn and caution.


“I can confirm that we have interviewed the former Head of State under a warn and caution,” she said.


Ms Kasumpa said the Head of State was being investigated on cases of corrupt allegations which included the purchase of campaign materials during the 2011 general elections, the Mpundu Trust and the Nigeria Crude Oil deal.


Asked when the investigations would be concluded, Ms Kasumpa said she was not in a position to respond to that except that the investigations had been adjourned to Friday this week.