MINISTER of Home Affairs Edgar Lungu says former President Rupiah
Banda was blocked from travelling to South Africa this morning because
he is under a travel embargo by the joint investigative wings.
Mr. Lungu said that the government ordered the blocking of Rupiah
Banda from travelling to South Africa because the government had
received intelligence that Mr. Rupiah Banda was going to tamper with
evidence in his corruption case.
The former Head of State was due to fly aboard South African Airways
at 07:15 hours to attend the 2013 African Presidential Roundtable in
Johannesburg hosted by Boston University’s African Presidential Center
as a guest.
Mr. Lungu said that had government allowed him to travel it would have
been prejudicial to ongoing investigations.
“As for the embargo on Mr Banda’s travel the security wings like the
Anti Corruption Commission, Drug Enforcement Commission and and
immigration they fear that he will tamper with evidence in cases where
he is being charged pursued,” Lungu said.
“The officers acted on information that they had so they defied the
Former president Rupiah Banda was this morning blocked from leaving
the country when immigration officers at the Kenneth Kaunda
International Airport (KKIA) said they had received instructions not
to allow him fly to South Africa.
Despite being shown the Court Order signed by Lusaka High Court
Judge-in-Charge Jane Kabuka, the immigration officers said they
understood what the Order said but could do nothing about it, as the
instructions they were implementing had come from the Chief
Immigration Officer Moola Milomo.
When contacted, Mr Milomo said he, too, was acting on instructions from “above”.
Judge Kabuka yesterday ordered the Joint Government Investigation Team
to release President Banda’s passport to enable him travel to South
In her ruling, Judge Kabuka said the former president was not a
flight-risk as he has all his possessions in Zambia and young children
he was leaving behind, and that the invitation to South Africa was
from a credible source, which showed that he was internationally
recognised and respected.
In April, again in defiance of a magistrate’s Court Order, President
Banda was blocked at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport as he
was about to board a Kenyan Airways plane to go and attend the
inauguration of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi.