THE Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) has challenged the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and other law enforcement agencies to provide the nation with evidence that would necessitate the lifting of immunity of former President Rupiah Banda.
YALI Governance Advisor Isaac Mwanza said this would help to remove speculation and doubts from certain sections of society that the former Head of State is being persecuted at the instigation of persons or bodies who harbor hatred or seek vengeance him.
Mr Mwanza said in a statement that it is only after evidence is made available that his organisation will support the lifting of Mr Banda’s immunity from prosecution.
“When law enforcement agencies and government show cause that a solid case and evidence exists worth prosecuting in our courts of law. YALI calls on civil society organizations (CSOs) and the media to wait and keenly look forward to evidence from law enforcement agencies on the alleged wrong-doing by Mr Banda before they can form opinions that incite and unnecessarily excite the nation to rise against the former President,” he said.
Mr Mwanza said YALI believes the talk of conducting demonstrations and picketing Members of Parliament, at this stage, is not only premature but not well thought-out since law enforcement agencies have not laid down any evidence that expressly exposes any wrongdoing.
“YALI will stand to support government in its duty to protect public resources and bringing all persons connected with plunder of public resources to book as long as the due process of the law is followed and the accused are treated in accordance with the laws of natural justice,” Mr Mwanza.
He said the rule of law and the dictates of natural justice demands that those accused of crimes are not pronounced guilty before they are heard in a free and fair trial in the our courts of law.
“In view of issues associated with immunity of former Presidents, YALI implores the nation to rethink the law on Presidential immunity with a view to enshrining in our new constitution that ‘any person who ceases to be in the office of the Presidency shall automatically lose immunity’ so as to pave way for investigations into any alleged crimes by former Heads of State and allow them to account for their actions,” he said.