Following media reports on the Zambian government’s failure to lay charges in support of requests for the arrest ofHenry Banda, son of former Zambian President Rupiah Banda, their legal counsel have dismissed the arrest requests as unfounded and politically motivated.
“These unspecified allegations against Henry Banda are politically driven and without foundation. It is clearly not a genuine investigation,” said Robert Amsterdam of Amsterdam & Peroff LLP, who represents both Rupiah and Henry Banda. “The bogus accusations levelled against Henry, which change from day to day, form part of a wider campaign to persecute the former president, his party and the political opposition at large.”
The Government of Zambia is using the false pretext of “anti-corruption” to eliminate political competition, said Amsterdam. Linking the attempt to de-register the MMD with the accusations against his client, Amsterdam suggested that the recent arrest of MMD spokesperson Dora Siliya represents an attempt to pressure her into giving false evidence against Henry Banda:
“As we have seen from the attempts to dissolve the MMD and the repeated arrests of opposition party leadership, there are elements within the highest levels of the governing Patriotic Front party which seek to return Zambia to a one-party state,” Amsterdam said. “In the absence of any real evidence against Henry Banda, we can see that the government is making arrests and attempting to pressure individuals to produce false evidence.”