After immigration authorities prevented former President Rupiah Banda from flying to Kenya on inauguration day despite a court order, Deputy Minister of Information Mwansa Kapeya issued a statement questioning the late departure.
“We wonder the motive behind his desire to fly to Kenya even when he knew too well that he was late and would have found the function long finished,” said Kapeya.
However Banda’s lawyer Robert Amsterdam has rubbished these claims as false, pointing out the the former president had been invited to a presidential dinner in Nairobi with Uhuru Kenyatta, regardless of the time of the swearing in ceremony. Amsterdam earlier had alleged that the Zambian authorities had purposefully delayed giving him back his passport until the last moment, making it impossible for him to catch his original flight.
“Mr. Kapeya’s statement is contemptible in and of itself. The Zambian immigration authorities have behaved illegally in this case, and were clearly pressured to do so by a weak and terrified old president who is aware of his own failing credibility,” said Amsterdam. “There will come a day soon when the bureaucrats who are asked by the ruling party to behave illegally will have to carefully consider the future consequences. It is a deeply shameful thing to see people like Mr. Kapeya making lame excuses for the criminal conduct of his superiors.”