UNZA lecturer Neo Simutanyi says restoring Rupiah Banda’s immunity from prosecution for the crimes he committed while in office will not be good for the PF’s credentials.
Dr. Simutanyi thinks that the fact that the founder of the ruling Patriotic Front late President Michael Sata is no more, it does not mean that the PF government should now be different.
The PF is in the process of restoring Rupiah Banda’s immunity so that he does not face the law for the crimes he committed during his three years of corruption.
Dr. Simutanyi says Mr. Banda’s case provides a basis on which the country should debate the importance of immunity, and when its there whether it should be removed so easily.
In an interview by telephone with Qfm News Dr. Simutanyi has cautioned that the immunity clause in the country’s constitution risks being trivialized if it can be removed and restored at will.
Dr. Simutanyi also holds the view the case of Mr. Banda and that of late former President Frederick Chiluba, have however challenged the political decision of removing a former Head of State’s immunity.
He says this is because charges upon which their immunity was stripped have not been proved in the courts of law.
Simuntanyi who is also Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Executive Director has however taken note that Zambia does not, in the same vein, have a precedent where immunity of a former Head of States has been restored after being striped by Parliament.
He said in the case of Mr. Banda it may not fit well with the credentials of the Patriotic Front (PF) government, if it somehow restores his immunity because it is this same government that lifted his immunity.
He said that if the PF government under late President Sata removed Mr. Banda’s immunity, the PF government under President Edgar Lungu should honor what his predecessor presiding over.