Security wings have opened a docket and started investigating former President Rupiah Banda regarding the K3.5 billion (US$700,000) he could have spent on a duplex of luxury up-market villas located on Leopards Hill Road barely 90 days after he became President of Zambia .
This has been confirmed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in a written response to the Daily Mail.
But even if security wings build a case against the embattled former President, charges are unlikely to hold unless his immunity is lifted in Parliament through a popular vote to pave way for a possible court and police appearance.
President Sata has said his government is not in “a hurry” to lift his predecessor’s immunity as he embarks on a spirited anti-graft fight, suggesting that he would want law investigations officers to complete their job before he can act.
A team put together to probe the former President comprises high ranking specialised officers from the Zambia Police, ACC and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEC).
The property Mr. Banda has been linked to is located on plot NO. RE/29/488A Leopards Hill Road in Kabulonga and value runs into billions of Kwacha.
“I would like to inform you that there is an inquiry into the matter (the Leopards Hill property) which is being investigated by a joint team of investigative agencies,” ACC Corporate Affairs Officer Mr. Wezzy Chomba said.
Mr Chomba could, however, not shed more light on the matter and instead referred all queries to the Inspector General of Police saying: “the office of Inspector General of Police will deal with any matters relating to media on the said subject.”
But Inspector General of Police Dr Martin Malama declined to give the Daily Mail more information on how far investigations had gone saying Zambians will have to wait for the courts to start trying various “high profile” cases.
“We have no comment on that. We want to ensure that the people and details of all investigations taking place are revealed in the courts of law,” Dr Malama said from Zimbabwe via phone yesterday.
Former President Banda is reported to have acquired the property at US$700,000 (K3.5billion) three months after becoming head of State, a price way beyond his monthly presidential Salary.
It is alleged that he demolished structures which were there to build a multi-million dollar complex of 12 villas whose value runs into billions of kwacha.
Mr. Banda has been linked to monetary scandals constantly since he lost power to President Sata on September 20.
Some of his former officials have also been questioned by law enforcement officers.
The team investigating Mr. Banda and others is based at the premises of the former Taskforce on Corruption, on Buluwe Road, in Woodlands.