According to a statement by Brig Gen Godfrey Miyanda of the Heritage Party, the Patriotic Front government is abusing its powers to target Former President Rupiah Banda in violation of the law.
“The rising crescendo about the removal of former President Banda’s immunity is indicative of our polarised political climate. It is an unnecessary but well-orchestrated stratagem to distract attention from real issues that require answers by the PF regime. Unfortunately the public have once again swallowed the bait and have joined in the unproductive quarrels,” Miyanda’s statement reads.
“The ACC summons for President Banda to respond to criminal allegations is not tenable and may itself render useless any case the ACC may have against him,” the statement reads.
“So the only legal avenue is a motion in Parliament by the Executive because only Parliament can remove a former President’s shield of immunity after a properly laid case in the National Assembly. If, as stated by the Chief Government Spokesman, the ACC can investigate a former president they can also investigate a sitting president, in this case President Sata: imagine that mountain – graves would be shattered! However there is a complete bar against prosecuting a sitting president for civil or criminal actions. There is also a complete bar of proceedings against a former president for criminal or civil actions committed during his tenure of office UNLESS the National Assembly so resolves. Clearly the ACC is circumventing the Supreme Law of the land.”
“Regardless of the nature of the offence, the only way a former president can be proceeded against is by the removal of his shield of immunity in accordance with Article 43. This strict and deliberate procedure is to prevent vexatious actions being initiated.”
“If the ACC has information that President Banda committed crimes while in office they should give that information to President Sata to decide what to do with it.”