High court says will decide RB’s passport case later

Lusaka High Court judge Jane Kabuka has indefinitely reserved ruling to determine the release of former President Rupiah Banda’s passport.

In the case that was heard in chambers, Judge Kabuka told Rupiah Banda’s defence lawyers that she would communicate when the case comes up again.

By 17:30 local time today (Wednesday)the court was still hearing whether he should release former president Rupiah Banda’s passport.

Mr Banda was supposed to travel to South Africa  for roundtable discussion of former presidents. The meeting started   today (Wednesday)  but delegates arrived at the venue on Tuesday.

Mr Banda was supposed to chair Thursday morning ‘s sessions

Other former presidents in attendance are  Joaquim Alberto Chissano, former President of the Republic of Mozambique, Karl Auguste Offmann, former President of the Republic of Mauritius and Amani Abeid Karume, Former President of Zanzibar.

Two days ago, Lusaka Chief resident magistrate Joshua Banda refused to release the passport under the pretext that the application was wrongly before the magistrate court.

Magistrate Banda ruled that the application was supposed to be made before the High court.

The truth and precedence has always been that the court hearing the matter decides whether to release the passport or not. This was the case even in the Fredrick Chiluba cases. See here

And another magistrate where the former president is charged with concealing of gratification under the Anti Corruption Act, Principal Resident Magistrate Obsitter Musukwa ruled that the former president should apply for the release of his passport through the High court.

Magistrate Musukwa told the court that only the high court is empowered to vary the jurisdiction.

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