Eastern Province Development Foundation (EPDF) has expressed shock at the manner the Patriotic Front (PF) government is treating former President Rupiah Banda as though he were a criminal.
Foundation Chairperson Kelvin Chulu told the Daily Nation in an interview that his association was disappointed with the PF government’s action to stop former president Banda from attending the inauguration ceremony of the new president in Kenya.
Mr. Chulu wondered why the PF government was treating former President Banda like a criminal when the courts of law have not convicted him of any offence.
He said that the association would soon convene an emergency meeting to discuss the embarrassment the PF government have planned against the former head of state.
“We are shocked the way former President Banda was treated at the Airport today (yesterday) by junior immigrations officers when they stopped him from flying out of the country. The PF government cannot justify their action as they planned to embarrass Mr. Banda and create stories that he wanted to run away from the country. They must know that Mr. Banda is man who headed a 50 man delegation team to monitor the elections in Kenya and the political transition was being monitored by the entire world and embarrassing him in that way is really shocking and shameful to the country,” said Mr. Chulu.
Mr. Chulu said that his association was disappointed and would not allow the PF to continue embarrassing and harassing Mr. Banda in the manner they wished.
He said that the conduct by the PF government against Mr. Banda sent wrong messages about whether he would receive a fair trial or not under the current prosecution team.
Mr. Chulu said that the PF must learn to respect former heads of state and accord them the dignity they deserve unlike viewing them as if they were common criminals.
“We have now concluded that this government is all out to harass, victimize and embarrass Mr. Banda. They have no proper programme or agenda about the way they will treat Mr. Banda. But we have to warn them that the hate seed they are sowing now was not in the best interest of the country. As an association we shall not allow our son to be treated in the manner the PF is doing. We shall petition this government to stop abusing the rule of law in order to settle scores,” he said.