Government yesterday disregarded court orders and went ahead to bar former president Rupiah Banda from travelling to Kenya for the inauguration of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Chief Immigration Officer confirmed that he had received instructions from a ‘high authority’ to stop Mr Banda from travelling to Kenya.
And National Restoration Party (NAREP) president Elias Chipimo Jnr condemned government for disobeying a court order by stopping Mr Banda from travelling to Kenya.
He said the disregard of the law would haunt the government.
“They have no respect for the rule of law and these actions will come back to haunt them in due time. If the courts have allowed him to travel they must respect that action, “ he said
And Mr Banda`s lawyer Robert Amsterdam described government action as total breakdown of rule of law in Zambia and was an indication that Mr Banda cannot expect a fair trial.
He said government’s conduct was shameful and embarrassing coming from an authoritarian regime acting under the orders of a frightened and enfeebled president who was willing to break the law, violate rights and ignore the judicial process in order to attack his opponents.
Mr Amsterdam said the action was not a normal case and governments outrageous defilement of the judicial system was yet another reminder of the destruction wrought upon Zambia’s image as a democracy.
Commenting on the same matter political activist Nason Msoni said the action by government was completely absurd and shocking and confirmed that the prosecution and persecution of Mr Banda was driven more by malice, petty jealousies and envy by a regime that has been isolated regionally and internationally.
“The government should now stop playing the blame game going by the way they have mishandled the issue of his passport and now ultimately blocking him at the Airport from attending the inauguration ceremony of President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta.
“Hiding behind the court process as a reason for preventing him from attending to important international engagements is not only cheap politics but at best narrow mindedness.
A human rights activist Brebner Changala also expressed disgust over disregard of court orders by the PF government which he says has become its hallmark.
Mr Changala said that disregarding of laws has become the hallmark of the PF government.
He said one just needed to look at the near past to recognize the hallmark of the PF government of disregarding court orders.
“Reference is made to what has happened at Zambezi Portland Cement where court orders that were about to be served by the sheriffs were blocked and today we witnessed a situation were the court allowing RB to travel to Kenya was also ignored,” he said.
Mr Changala said that this was a clear sign of state anarchy and the break down of the rule of law since PF came to power.
“I appeal to all well meaning civil society and political organisations to come together and stop this nonsense. Yesterday it was Zambezi Portland Cement (ZPC) today it RB tomorrow it will Mr Changala. The PF has rendered the judiciary totally useless and this is the beginning of serious problems to come,” Mr Changala said.