The decision by the President of Zambia Michael Sata to threaten former President Rupiah Banda for having issued an apology to George W. Bush over Sata’s controversial public insult exposes the political motivations guiding the government’s phony anti-graft campaign, said international lawyer Robert Amsterdam.
“It is now transparently clear that it is President Sata himself who is personally guiding the crackdown against the political opposition, along with key officials such as Wynter Kabimba and Mutembo Nchito,” said Mr. Amsterdam, who represents former President Banda and his son Henry Banda. “For months this government has carried out a trial by headline of my clients and many other political opponents devoid of any real legal merit, and now that everyone can see the highly personal and arbitrary way this government conducts itself, it is time for us to make the most basic request: that the Sata government stop abusing the law.”
During a press conference held with George W. Bush on July 4th, 2012, President Sata denounced the United States as a “colonialist” country that had abandoned Africa after stealing all her resources. The following day, former President Rupiah Banda sent a letter of apology on behalf of Zambian citizens to former President Bush, emphasizing that most people do not share Sata’s resentment, and are focused positively on the future and good relations with other nations.
As a result of Banda’s letter, President Sata issued statement that threatened to remove the former president’s immunity for unspecified reasons. According to a statement published in the pro-government Post Newspaper, Sata threatened Banda “not to push his luck too far, stating that he is the least person that should cross paths with the PF administration.”
According to Amsterdam, the legal team is appealing to several foreign governments to raise awareness of the Sata government’s instrumentalisation of the legal system to persecute political opponents, and to set forth all the facts that prove the innocence of Rupiah Banda, Henry Banda, and other victims before the campaign of defamation spread in state propaganda outlets.