RB escapes detention

Lawyers representing former president Rupiah Banda yesterday reportedly put up a spirited battle to avoid the former President from being locked up in the police cells at Woodlands Police station.
According to Daily Nation sources the former President was supposed to have been taken from the DEC offices where interrogations were taking place to Woodlands where the arrest would have been effected.
The interrogation team is reported to have had instructions to lock up the former president in an effort to humiliate him.
However, joint investigations team spokesperson Namukolo Kasumpa said that what the team had intended for was what had happened, “I strongly dispute that we intended to take him to Woodlands police station. What we did to him was what we had intended for. So your source is not correct bye,” she said.
But Daily Nation sources revealed that the final decision to grant Mr Banda bail was arrived at after intelligence reports indicated woodlands police station was not safe from attack by sympathisers angered by the arrest.
Mr Banda was granted a Kr 500, 000 bond with his assistant Mikatazo Wakumelo and Dr Brian Chituwo signing as sureties. Among the bail conditions was the forfeiture of his passport.
“We had his assistant Mr Mikatazo Wakumelo and Dr Brian Chituwo who signed as sureties and we have also confiscated his passport. We expect him to appear in at the Magistrate court today but
investigations will continue,
“We are aware that there was a plan for some people to attack the police station where the former head of state was supposed to be taken. And to avoid chaos we decided to allow him go home after a provision of two working sureties in their own recognisance,” the source said.
Yesterday, Government Joint Investigations Team effected a formal arrest against the former head of state for abuse of authority.
And his lawyers said the former head of state had been arrested in connection with a Nigerian Oil deal and that he would be appearing in court today.
Announcing the arrest to journalists, Mr Sikwiba Sikota likened Mr Banda’s arrest and prosecution to the UNIP Black Mamba saga which saw many people arrested and detained but were eventually all acquitted.
Mr Sikota said there was no need for president Banda to be incarcerated because the case he has been accused of was bailable adding the state did not know how much was involved in the oil deal.
Mr Sikota said Mr Banda was an innocent man but that the arrest and trial were merely meant to persecute him.
“They have decided to effect an arrest and we are going to the magistrates court tomorrow (today) for the so called Nigerian oil deal. They are not sure about the allegations and we will wait for the witnesses. The truth shall be our defence and we know that RB is innocent,” Mr Sikota said.
Mr Sikota said what Mr Banda was going through could be likened to the Zero Option, the Black Mamba and the Rivonia Case in South Africa where former South African President Nelson Mandela was arrested.
Mr Sikota said Mr Banda’s trial shall be nothing but trivial lollypops and balloons because the PF government was only working at humiliating the former head of state and damaging his international reputation.
And the former head of state pledged that he would endeavour to follow the law because he was a law abiding citizen.
He said he was aware that Zambians were interested in his prosecution and that it was important that the general citizenry kept a close tag on all the proceedings in the courts of law.
The former head of state called for calm among Zambians to allow the full process of the law to take its course stating that he had done nothing wrong and that the truth would certainly come out.
Asked how he was feeling, Mr Banda who was in his usual jovial mood responded: “Naturally it should have been better if I was sitting at home…..I am an endangered species but I am a law abiding citizen and will have to go through the process like anyone else who has been charged. I know Zambians are interested and you have been sitting in the sun because you want to know the truth,” he said.

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