Posts Tagged ‘rupiah banda’

Former Zambian leader Rupiah Banda with lawyer Robert Amsterdam. PHOTO: robertamsterdam.com

Hong Kong, Apr. 29 – Lawyers representing former Zambian president Rupiah Banda’s son, Henry, have sought the intervention of  various United Nations human rights bodies over attempts by Zambian authorities to extradite him from South Africa to face allegations of fraud and corruption.

Lawyers fear extraditing Banda from South Africa – where he holds permanent residence – would not guarantee him a fair hearing because of what lead lawyer, Robert Amsterdam, describes as “politically motivated persecution” by the Patriotic Front administration led by President Michael Sata.

Amsterdam’s legal firm, Amsterdam & Peroff LLP, sent out two letters [Banda UN Letter – 25.04.12] to various UN human rights bodies last Wednesday April 25, whose full contents were availed to the media Sunday.

Advertisements

Nicolae Bogdan Buzaianu suspected to be behind the rebuttal blog posts. PHOTO: enationaltv.files.wordpress.com

Dhaka, Dec. 29 – A series of blog posts claiming that Switzerland-based businessman Nicolae Bogdan Buzaianu who has been implicated in soured gold deal in Zambia have emerged online.

The posts published on different word press blogs claim Buzaianu has been cleared of his alleged involvement in the gold scam and that Zambian President Michael Sata has since apologized for wrongly implicating the Romanian-born businessman in the procurement of the gold which allegedly went missing from the vaults of the Drug Enforcement Commission under mysterious circumstances.

The blog posts which seem to have been authored by Buzaianu or his close aides are published on a blog with Nicolae Buzaianu’s name as the blog header.

Some of the posts state that Buzaianu is not suing Zambia for defamation or claiming US$100m while others say his appointment as Zambia’s representative to UNESCO was never revoked by Sata but that he voluntarily resigned.

It is not yet clear who is behind this arsenal of rebuttal weblogs being published online – some of which claim to have been issued by State House media unit in Lusaka.

What is clear though is that the posts are intended to disassociate Buzaianu from the gold scam which has sucked up several officials that served in ex-president Rupiah Banda’s three year administration – including Banda himself, his son James, his ex-pr aide Dickson Jere and former first Lady Maureen Mwanawasa.

The rebuttal posts appear under wordpress blogs with names such as michaelsatapresssecretary, thediplomatpress, africasvoice, zambiaamswers and fakes of the post, the watchdog and wiredproject316.

Both Banda and State House have not commented on the blog posts.

Former Zambian leader Rupiah Banda invited to co-lead election observation mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo. PHOTO: reuters

Hong Kong, Nov. 22– President Michael Sata’s administration has declined to meet the expenses of ex-president Rupiah Banda’s delegation to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)  where he has been invited to monitor elections by the Jimmy Carter Centre in that country.

DRC is bracing itself for presidential and legislative elections and authorities in that country have invited foreign observers to monitor the vote.

State House in Zambia said Tuesday; it would not pay for Banda’s delegation as the invitation from the US-based Carter Centre was personal.

“Since the invitation is to Mr Banda as an individual, government has difficulties in spending taxpayers’ money on other people he would want to accompany him on this purely exclusive invitation,” President Sata said.

The Zambian head of state has meanwhile congratulated his predecessor on his assignment as co-leader of the International Observation Mission for the presidential and legislative elections in the DRC.

Africa's largest copper producer, Zambia threatened with a US$100 million legal suit by Buzaianu. PHOTO: infoplease.com

Hong Kong, Oct. 26 – Swiss businessman and ex-Zambia’s envoy to UNESCO in Geneva, Nicola Bogdan Buzaianu, has threatened to sue the Zambia’s government and the country’s media over his alleged involvement in a gold scam.

Buzaianu is also demanding US$100 million from the Zambian Government for allegedly defamatory remarks made by President Michael Sata against him.

Buzaianu’s legal representative in Zambia, Sakwiba Sikota said in Lusaka, “his client was offended by the remarks made by President Sata and the reports carried by all the media in Zambia.”

In 2007, Zambia’s Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC)seized 119 kilograms of gold worth over US$7 million at the Lusaka’s Kenneth Kaunda International Airport from Zimbabweans who tried to evade sanctions against Zimbabwe and tried re-export the gold through Zambia.

Hong Kong, Oct. 17 Zambia has re-adopted the zero-tolerance stance against corruption, the country’s leader Michael Sata said Monday.

Late president Levy Mwanawasa and the country’s third, was the first Zambian head of state  to launch one of the biggest anti-corruption drives since the country’s independence from Britain in 1964.

Late third president Levy Mwanawasa highly commended for his zero-tolerance to corruption. PHOTO: businessinfocus.blogspot.com

The move by Mwanawasa attracted widespread praise from the international community but his critics perceived the crusade as a political manoeuvre aimed at investigating late second president Fredrick Chiluba and officers that served in his 10-year administration.

Zambia’s newly elected leader, Michael Sata said the zero-tolerance stance against corruption adopted by his administration was irreversible.

Late second president Fredrick Chiluba was investigated for corruption. PHOTO: globalvoicesonline.org

President Sata reaffirmed his administration’s firm stand on curbing corruption in both the public and private sector.

“During the campaigns we made an undertaking that we shall robustly fight corruption and we shall do just that. The policy of this government is that any person who has aggrieved the Zambian people economically and otherwise, in the past or present, must face the law,” he said.

“Make no mistake about it, because we are resolute on combating corruption and all its offshoots even if it means losing friends,” President Sata said. ”

“We are ready to make that sacrifice for the sake of the Zambian people whom we promised and as a result they gave us the mandate to preside over this country’s affairs.”

President Sata said the law enforcement agencies would investigate any past and present acts of corruption and ensure that the culprits were prosecuted within the due process of the law.

“I’m confident that professionalism and exemplary ethical conduct shall be the bedrock of this process,” President Sata said.

He emphasized that the crusade against corruption would be done without malice or witch-hunt and would be non-selective because he did not believe in selective justice.

Incumbent President Michael Sata recommits to fight corruption in Zambia. PHOTO: csmonitor.com

“This government has not made a decision at any level regarding the removal of anybody’s immunity. And nobody has even talked about it either from the party or government’s side. It is therefore, preposterous that some political stakeholders and leaders among us are attempting to frustrate this crusade by throwing innuendos and half-truths on this noble cause,” he said.

“I must repeat that, we are unwavering on this score and nothing other than justice shall prevail. As for those who have expediently decided to side with corruption and the corrupt, we leave it to the Zambian people to see and know them for who they are and what they stand for,” he said.

“A moment ago, we all campaigned on the platform of fighting corruption, so what has changed?”

Zambia's ex-leader Rupiah Banda ready to provide answers to the team investigating the allegedly missing gold from Drug Enforcement Commission. PHOTO: zambiawatchdog

Hong Kong, Oct. 16 – Zambia’s ex-president, Rupiah Banda, has issued his first public retort to an arsenal of allegations by his successor, Michael Sata, that his administration ran a corrupt government.

Since stepping down after losing the September 20 vote, Banda has not made any public remark regarding a carte blanche of allegations by President Sata that he was key facilitator of some illegal deals while he served as head of state.

Banda issued a nine-bullet statement Sunday in which he attempted to respond to claims he was involved in a scam  in which some gold mysteriously went missing .

The former president also expressed his willingness to be investigated over the gold scandal, his administrative secretary, Mikatazo Wakumelo said.

Following the numerous allegations made against former Republican President, Mr. Rupiah Bwezani Banda, I wish to make clarifications on the following issues:

  • That Mr. Rupiah Bwezani Banda has a number of friends both in Zambia and outside who have requested to meet him following his gracious exit from the Presidency after the September 20, 2011 elections. Mr. Banda has granted appointments to a number of visitors who have been coming to see him since he left office. To the best of his knowledge, he has not met anyone who is a fugitive.
  • That Dr. Nichola Bogdan Buzaianu, a Swiss-based businessman, requested to pay a visit to the former President during his planned trip to Zambia. Dr. Buzaianu applied to the Zambian authorities for permission to land at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport 48 hours before his trip to Zambia and the Zambian Government granted the landing rights to Dr. Buzaianu who arrived on Wednesday, 12th October, 2011.
  • That a request was made to the Zambian authorities to extend the usual courtesies to Dr. Buzaianu at the airport which was, in fact, done. He was received by a protocol officer at the airport and taken to the VIP lounge while his immigration formalities were done. He did the finger print biometric procedure at the airport before he proceeded to the customs and exited. He spent about one hour and 30 minutes at the airport while doing his formalities.
  • That all relevant security wings were at the airport when Dr. Buzaianu was doing the usual formalities and at no time did he hide his identity. The former President provided vehicles for his visitor to pick him at the airport together with the state security attached to the former President’s office.  President Banda also requested his former press aide Mr. Dickson Jere to receive his guest on his behalf at the airport because his security did not know him.
  • That after leaving the airport, Dr. Buzaianu proceeded to the Taj Pamodzi Hotel where he was booked for an overnight stay and did not hide at all. He later paid a courtesy call on President Banda that same day. During his stay at the hotel, Dr. Buzaianu interacted freely with hotel guests and staff.  If Dr Buzaianu was a fugitive as alleged, he would not have been openly moving around.

    Banda's successor, President Sata claims Zambia's ex-permanent representative to UNESCO Nichola Bogdan Buzaianu bought the gold which mysteriously went missing from DEC. PHOTO: AFP

  • That the following day, Dr. Buzaianu proceeded to Mfuwe to visit the Chipembele Educational Centre, which he has been supporting as a philanthropic cause. Dr. Buzaianu proceeded in the normal way at the airport and paid his airport taxes before he left Kenneth Kaunda International Airport for Mfuwe International Airport. At Mfuwe Airport, Dr. Buzaianu was cleared in the standard manner as prescribed by the provisions of the Immigration and Deportation Act before he went to visit the school. He flew out the same day with airport permits for his flights from Mfuwe.
  • That President Banda welcomes the investigations of the sale of gold by the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC), which has been linked to Dr. Buzaianu. All the relevant people involved in this transaction are available and will provide necessary answers to the investigating team but suffice to say that no gold went missing mysteriously as has been portrayed.
  • That on the issue of purchasing or alleged missing of vehicles, President Banda also welcomes the investigations into this matter as he was not a procurement officer. All the people involved in this matter are around and are still serving even under this administration. So they will provide answers as they are better placed to explain where the missing vehicles are, if at all they are missing.
  • That President Banda is available at any given time to answer to any clarification which the current Head of State Mr. Michael Chilufya Sata may have concerning this matter or indeed any issue before they are made public. He remains committed to supporting the current President in order for him to succeed in running the Government. This is the position President Banda took when he made his farewell speech at State House after losing the last elections.

Signed:

Mikatazo Wakumelo

Administrative Secretary

Office of the Fourth President

Mo Ibrahim to announce this year’s Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership on Monday October 10. PHOTO: Mo Ibrahim Foundation

Hong Kong Oct. 07 – The Mo Ibrahim Foundation will on Monday October 10 launch the fifth Index of African Governance and announce this year’s Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership.

Zambia’s former head of state, Rupiah Banda, is rumored to receive this year’s Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, after he honorably ceded power to Michael Sata, then opposition leader who won last September’s presidential vote in the southern Africa country.

Banda has received widespread praise for conceding defeat and stepping down at the time when some African leaders were refusing to step aside for legitimately elected leaders.

This year’s event also marks the fifth anniversary of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

Established in 2007, the Ibrahim Index is the most comprehensive collection of qualitative and quantitative data that provides an annual assessment of governance performance in every African country.

The Ibrahim Prize is the largest individual award in the world – worth US$5 million over ten years and US$200 000 a year for life.

The Prize, conferred by an independent Prize Committee made up of global figures, is awarded to a former executive Head of State or Government for demonstrating excellence and exceptional leadership.

Related link from Africa News.

Hong Kong, Oct.02 – Zambian President, Michael Sata, has with immediate effect terminated the contracts of three former aides to immediate past president Rupiah Banda.

Zambian President Michael Sata to fire more officers that served in past president Rupiah Banda's administration. PHOTO: csmonitor.com

The three officers whose contracts have been terminated are Richard Chembe who was Special Assistant to the President for Economic and Development Affairs, Joseph Jalasi who was Special Assistant to the President for Legal Affair and Francis Chigunta who was Special Assistant to the President for Political Affairs.

According to State House, President Sata terminated the contracts in exercise of the powers vested in him pursuant to the provisions of the Zambian Constitution.

Last week, President Sata sacked Central Bank Governor, Caleb Fundanga, and State House aide for press and public relations, Dickson Jere, whom he has since replaced with former Post Newspapers reporter, George Chellah.

President Sata also fired Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Director-General, Godfrey Kayukwa whom he replaced with Rosewin Wandi.

The sacking of several officials that served in Rupiah Banda’s administration is likely to continue in the coming weeks.

Sanday Chongo Kabange in Berlin, Germany

Zambia’s President Rupiah Banda has put this year’s general vote on Tuesday September 20, 2011.

Zambia is expected to host presidential, parliamentary and local government votes this fall, three years after the death of then head of state Levy Mwanawasa who died of ill health while in office in August 2008.

Incumbent Zambian President and top contender under the governing Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) stable, Rupiah Banda announced the Election Day Thursday during a live broadcast to the nation.

President Banda put elections day on Tuesday September 20, 2011. PHOTO: zambia-online.com

“I have today 28th July, 2011 signed the Electoral General Elections Date of Poll Declaration Order – Statutory Instrument no. 76 of 2011. Further, I have also signed the Local Government Elections Date and Times of Poll Order – Statutory Instrument no. 77 of 2011.  This means the Local Government elections will be held together with the Presidential and Parliamentary elections. I can now announce to the nation that the elections will be held on Tuesday 20th September, 2011,” said Banda.

The announcement of the September 20 polls comes after prolonged calls from the opposition and civil society groups that have repeatedly accused Banda of delaying the announcement of the polling date in order to suit his campaign trail.

Banda also announced the immediate dissolution of the National Assembly.

“Today, 28th July, 2011, I have signed the Proclamation of the Dissolution of the National Assembly – Statutory Instrument No. 75 of 2011 – pursuant to Article 88, of the Constitution of Zambia, Chapter 1 of the Laws of Zambia. This means Parliament stands dissolved as of today.”

He further added: “The Dissolution of Parliament consequently means that Cabinet is equally dissolved.  All Cabinet and Deputy Ministers no longer occupy their positions.  I, as President, and his honour the Vice-President will continue to hold office until a new government is sworn in and assumes office.  This is what our Constitution provides.”

Noting that Zambia’s Constitution dictates that from the date of dissolution of Parliament a general election must take place within 90 days, he said:

“During the interim period the organs of state will continue to function. I, as President will exercise the executive powers directly with the assistance of the Vice-President and other Government officials.   The civil service will continue its work to ensure that all services are maintained.  The permanent secretaries shall assist me in running Government during this period”.

He added, “The police and the armed forces will continue to safeguard the sovereignty and integrity of the Republic of Zambia.  Essential workers, including doctors, nurses and teachers will still deliver their vital services”.

Banda’s main challengers in the September 20 votes are leaders of the Patriotic Front (PF) Michael Sata and United Party for National Development (UPND) Hakainde Hichilema.

Both top contenders lost to Banda in the 2008 polls but this year, political analysts predict a tougher race amongst the top three contenders.

Regional, continental and international observers will monitor Zambia’s vote.