RB arrested, released on KR500, 000 bond

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Joint Government Investigation Team has arrested former President Rupiah Banda for the offence of abuse of authority.

Mr. Banda, Zambia’s fourth President who earlier in the day appeared before a combined team of government investigation wings at the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) offices, has been charged with abuse of authority of office contrary to section 99 of the penal code, sub section 1, cap 87 of the laws of Zambia.

His abuse of authority case involves an oil deal with a Nigerian company.

The former Head of State has since been released on bond after producing two working sureties at a sum of KR5, 000 each.

The sureties are Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) vice president for administration Brian Chituwo and Mr. Banda’s administrative assistance Mikatazo Wakumelo.

Mr. Banda has also paid KR 500, 000 in his own recognizance and will appear in the magistrate court tomorrow morning.

And addressing journalists after his arrest, Mr. Banda said the state would not find him with any case to answer because he was innocent.

“I would have loved to be home, but I am a law abiding citizen. That is why I came here to go through this procedure. Tomorrow I will be at court but of course they will not find any case for me to answer,” Banda said amid his jubilant supporters.

He has since urged his sympathizers to remain calm.

“I am repeating my plea, please remain calm even under provocation. This will come to an end. I am thankful to my lawyers who are doing a good job,” he said.

Asked how the arrest was going to affect his responsibility as an international elections observer, Mr. Banda said the whole world was behind him.

“They have gotten my passport, but there is no problem. I will continue with my work, if they don’t give me, there is nothing I can do,” he said.

Parliament lifted Mr. Banda’s presidential immunity on March 15, 2013 but he is challenging the move in the Lusaka High Court.

He contends that the decision by the Speaker of National Assembly, Patrick Matibini to allow Justice Minister to move the motion that led to his immunity being lifted was irregular and illegal.

Meanwhile, his lawyer Sakwiba Sikota alleged that the at hand was aimed at persecuting the former head of state and that it will not go anywhere.

Mr. Sikota told journalists that it was still very clear that the investigations team does not know why they were interrogating his client for.

And confirming the arrest and release of the former Head of State on bond, investigations team spokesperson Namukolo Kasumpa said Mr. Banda has also surrendered his passport.

Mrs. Kasumpa said interrogations involving other criminal charges that were yet to be slapped on Mr. Banda will continue on Thursday, 4th April, 2013.