President Rupiah Banda has welcomed the intimation by Post newspaper editor Fred Mmembe who intends to sue him for slander.
A spokesman for Mr. Banda said the former president said it was gratifying that Mr. Mmembe had realized the important role that courts played in civil society and that he would take the opportunity to justify his statement that the Director of Public Prosecution Mutembo Nchito and Mr. Mmembe were colluding to engender his persecution.
Mr. Banda noted that a day before the Lusaka High court ruled on his bail variation application Mmembe had written a disparaging editorial scandalizing him and his children in the hope of influencing a decision by the court.
The intention of the editorial he said was to suggest that if he was allowed to leave the country he would flee, “the editorial was in very bad taste and made assumptions which were clearly intended to malign him.”
Mr. Banda also noted that it was the same post newspaper and Mr. Mmembe who opposed his trip to Kenya to attend the inauguration ceremony of Uhuru Kenyatta. “Presumably the public is to assume that my children also live in Kenya.”
It was thus hypocritical he said that appeals to the international community against abuses in Zambia were being portrayed as betrayal when there were clear incidences of rampant violation of rights as indicated by the attack invasion of a church by violent party thugs who assaulted church leaders on a Black Friday.