PF parliamentary Chief Whip Yamfwa Mukanga says the fact that the courts of law cleared Rupiah Banda of corruption charges means that his immunity was automatically restored and there is no need to table a motion in Parliament.
Late president Michael Sata once described Mukanga as Chipuba. The simple truth is that the courts can not restore the immunity that was removed by parliament. Only parliament can restore the immunity of a former president using the same process it used to remove it.
Mukanga said the Patriotic Front (PF) has no intention of taking to Parliament a motion seeking to restore Banda’s immunity because he has already been cleared by the courts of law.
“What process is there to restore someone’s immunity? If the courts of law find someone clean, then it is automatic that they get back their immunity,” he said.
Mukanga said PF will not even consider tabling such a motion in Parliament.
“As far as the party is concerned, former President Rupiah Banda’s immunity was restored the moment the courts cleared him of graft charges,” he said.
In 2013, Parliament lifted Mr Banda’s immunity from prosecution because of his corrupt activities and misappropriation of public funds.
Banda was later prosecuted in the courts of law but was last month acquitted of abuse of authority of office involving a US$2.5 million government-to-government oil deal.
Banda was arrested after being stripped of his immunity by the same ruling PF under late Michael Sata (below).
But after Sata died, magistrate Joshua Banda who was hearing the criminal case was immediately promoted. He is now Ndola High Court deputy registrar. Rupiah became the god father of PF.
Very few people were therefore surprised when magistrate Banda acquitted Rupiah Banda.
When Banda was acquitted he wept fuelling comments from some people the weeping was due to his guilty.
Ndola High Court deputy registrar Joshua Banda, sitting as Lusaka chief resident magistrate, said the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt to warrant placing the former President on his defence.
Nothing was said about the US$2.5 million or where it went.
Banda was charged with one count of abuse of authority of office contrary to section 99 (1) of the Penal Code Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia. He was also warned and cautioned over his dubious role in the sale of Baobab land in Makeni.