PARLIAMENT should remove President Michael Sata’s immunity for constitutional breaches instead of wasting time on Former President Rupiah Banda who is worldly recognized for his effort for the betterment of African Democracy, Former UPND Member of Parliament for Siavonga Douglas Syakalima has said.
Mr. Syakalima has described the calls to have former President Banda’s immunity removed as rubbish and total blackmail by a group of crooks who owe the people of Zambia billions of Kwacha in none remittance of tax and none payments of loans.
And Mr. Syakalima has charged that those wishing former President Rupiah Banda’s immunity removed have a hidden agenda for the nation and wanted to divert attention of the nation from demanding for a responsible political leadership to hating Mr. Banda.
Commenting on Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD)’s spokesperson Antonio Mwanza’s challenge to Parliament to state whether President Michael Sata’s conduct in anyway had breached the constitution, Mr. Syakalima said that Members of Parliament should listen to the cries of the people of Zambia and do what was right for the nation.
Mr. Syakalima said that it was time that Members of Parliament took to parliament the issues of President Sata’s immunity in order to address the corruption crisis in his government and total abuse of the constitution now than when he leaves government because it would be seen as retribution.
He said the trend of waylaying leaders while in government and later after leaving power some people begin demanding for the removal of immunity was uncalled for and mischievous by people who were totally morally bankrupt and corruption.
Mr. Syakalima said that only blackmail stars would hold leaders at ransom for whatever reason, adding that the demand as made by some newspaper were unfounded and was an attempt in futility.
He said the country needed decency to the office of the President and for those that felt that the leadership must be probed should do it now by demanding that Parliament removes President Sata’s immunity in order to be investigated on issues of breach of constitution and corruption in his government.
He said it would be vengeance by the people of Zambia to start demanding for the removal of President Sata’s immunity when he leaves power but doing it now when he was still in office was the best way of addressing various constitutional breaches and allegations of corruption in his government.
“There is a very bad precedence set already when the same group of crooks pushed the late Mwanawasa to remove late Chiluba’s immunity over allegations which up to now have left our courts of law stuck and as a nation we have lost huge sums of money in litigations. It is on record that only two people Mutembo Nchito and his brother Nchima benefited in that deal the so called the fight against corruption because the country lost over US$2 million and the same group has today emerged in President Sata’s leadership to talk about the removal of immunity of Mr. Banda. We have to tell them that it is a war in futility. We shall start with removing Mr. Sata’s immunity before he leaves state house, such that we prosecute him for breaching the constitution,” he said.
He said that from the onset President Sata breached the constitution by over nominating MPs, abolishing the office of the Secretary to the Cabinet, dismissing ACC director General without following procedure, interfering the operations of the ACC and allowing ACC to probe a former head of state without considering constitutional matters.
And Mr. Syakalima has said that those wishing and scheming to remove Mr. Banda’s immunity were doing it at their own peril because the people of Zambia had known how crooked they were and how much they have stolen from the people of Zambia.
He warned that Zambians would never be fooled again like they did in 2001 under Mwanawasa where immunity was removed from Dr. Chiluba and in the process billions of Kwacha were stolen in the name of fighting corruption.
Mr. Syakalima said that UPND would not participate in legalizing illegalities by way of fighting the constitution.