Former President Rupiah Banda’s Lawyers have this afternoon filed a case with the Lusaka High Court preventing the parliament from discussion the lifting of their client’s immunity.
In a press release made to the media today , the lawyers argued that attempting to remove former President Banda’s immunity in the absence of any evidence, case, let alone any specific allegations of any wrongdoing, the PF government is attempting to subvert rule of law.
“Under normal constitutional precedent, the issue should now be tabled and not discussed tomorrow. Whether or not the Patriotic Front continues this unlawful process tomorrow or awaits the court order will speak volumes about their commitment to rule of law,” said the statement.
The lawyers argued that the PF government is trying to start with the conviction verdict and then work backwards to gather evidence.
“One cannot simply begin with the verdict and go backwards toward the case, evidence, and accusation, you have to do it the other way around,” read the statement
“Former President Banda’s legal team intends to aggressively pursue all legal avenues to halt these false allegations and expose the unlawful conduct of the PF before the international community,” concluded the statement.
There has been media reports that the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) party will be tabling a motion before parliament tomorrow requesting the removal of immunity of former President Rupiah Banda.
The long anticipated motion to remove former President Rupiah Banda’s immunity from prosecution will be moved by Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba.
The motion will state; “That interms of Article 43 (3) of the Constitution of Zambia, this House do resolve that Mr Rupiah Banda be amenable to criminal jurisdiction of any Court, in respect of any act committed by him”.
Once stripped off his immunity, Mr Banda would be answerable to investigative wings he recently snubbed when he was summoned by the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) to appear for questioning over alleged corrupt activities during his three year term in office.
After Parliament adjourned sessions today, MMD Members of Parliament led by party vice president for administration, Brian Chituwo told the press that his members were ready to debate the matter.
Dr Chituwo was not specific on the route that his party would take during debates but only stated that the matter was of grave importance and should not be trivialised.
“We are ready to debate this issue in Parliament tomorrow and make our position,” Dr Chituwo said.
He said the motion had nothing to do with Mr Banda but the office he held, “what value do we have for this office. More should have been done before bringing it to the House”.
Dr Chituwo was flanked by MMD chief whip, Geoffrey Lungwangwa, party national secretary, Kapembwa Simbao, and national chairperson, Kabinga Pande.
Below is the current composition of Parliament and 105 votes or two-thirds is required to secure the lifting of the Former president’s immunity.
66 MPs Patriotic Front (PF)
49 MPs Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD)
29 MPs United Party for National Development (UPND)
2 MPs INDEPENDENT (IND.)
1 MP Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD)
1 MP Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD)
8 MPs Nominated
TOTAL: 157 MPs