Following accusations that the ruling party had turned its anti-corruption campaign into a targeted witch hunt against political opponents, yesterday the Spokesperson of the Joint Government Investigative Team Charity Munganga gave a press conference in Lusaka to boast that Andrew Banda, son of former President Rupiah Banda, had been released following questioning.
The announcement of the “professionalism” struck many observers as odd, given that Mr. Banda was never under arrest in the first place, and hasn’t been charged. The Zambian police were obligated by law to “free” Andrew Banda unless he were actually placed under arrest.
“What we did after questioning Mr Andrew Banda is the same thing we would do for anyone under investigation, including his brother Henry when he comes back,” Mrs Munganga said. “We have not arrested or detained Mr Banda. We have released him because we have to follow procedure at every point of the investigations.”
Mrs Munganga said this action by the task force should allay fears by Henry Banda’s lawyers that if the former president’s son were to return to Zambia he wouldn’t receive fair treatment.
“We are a professional police service….we don’t go around detaining everyone we interview because that would be unlawful,” Mrs Munganga said. “Mr Banda (Andrew) can confirm this to his younger brother. He has nothing to fear if he has not done anything wrong.”