-RB state accusations unfair, says Sakeni

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Chief Government Spokesperson Kennedy Sakeni says it is unfair for former President Rupiah Banda to accuse Government of persecuting him through the ongoing investigations into his alleged wrongdoings while in office.

Mr. Sakeni who is also Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services said Mr. Banda, like any other citizen in his situation is enjoying his full human rights and freedoms such as legal representation, including the assumption that he  is innocent until proven guilty as per law established.

Mr Sakeni  said in a statement issued to ZANIS this evening that  further and beyond this, as former Head of State, Mr. Banda is still enjoying all the privileges such as state security that go with the status of that office.

Mr. Sakeni wondered what persecution the former head of state is complaining about and has since challenged Mr. Banda to point out any injustice or violation of his human rights that he has suffered during the ongoing investigations.

He said the country is being governed by the rule of law and stressed that there are no sacred cows, adding that whoever is suspected to have done something wrong is called to account for their actions in accordance with the law. 

The Chief Government Spokesperson said the people of Zambia demand that the former Head of State accounts for his actions in the manner he presided over their resources while he was in office.

He said the law is very clear about the removal of a former President’s immunity when there is suspicion of wrongdoing so that he or she can exonerate oneself.

Mr. Sakeni noted that Mr. Banda is on record as having welcomed the investigations purporting that they would provide him an opportunity to answer to the various allegations leveled against him.

He wondered what had suddenly changed that the former head of state would now say he is being persecuted over the same process he had earlier welcomed as an opportunity to clear himself  over the allegations.

Mr. Sakeni stated that contrary to Mr. Banda’s lamentations, the former head of state will be prosecuted and not persecuted for the wrongs he is suspected to have committed while in office, saying these have been clearly itemized for his response.

Mr. Banda on Monday, March 18 urged his sympathizers to remain calm when he addressed them after appearing before the Joint Government Investigative Team saying the investigations would provide him a chance to answer to the various allegations leveled against him.

He said the Patriotic Front is a responsible Government which has a duty to ensure public resources benefit the people of Zambia.

Mr. Sakeni stressed that the law will not spare anyone found wanting in this regard.