President Michael Sata says his predecessor Rupiah Banda is seeking criminal asylum in South Africa.
Speaking when he swore-in the fourth deputy minister of Agriculture Grayford Monde at State House, President Sata said government would ensure that Banda is extradited from South Africa and brought back to Zambia where his immunity would be lifted.
"You the media, you don't know why Rupiah Banda went to South Africa, because he is looking for asylum, but he doesn't know that we can go to South Africa and extradite him and come and remove his immunity here," he said.
Sata said other opposition leaders who are in South Africa with Banda are also seeking asylum.
"The only person who is clean among those who were there is Saki. The rest of them, Nevers Mumba (MMD president) , HH (Hakainde Hichilema of UPND) they were all looking for criminal asylum," he said.
And Sata says South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has declined to grant Banda and others asylum.
"The President in South Africa is not ready to give Rupiah Banda, HH and Mumba asylum; they should all come back here and sing the song here in Zambia," he said.
Meanwhile, the President asked the newly sworn in deputy minister to ignore the threats from UPND where he is a member of parliament.
"And you Mr. Monde, welcome, Don't follow what they are saying that you are going to join government. And I know Itezhi Tezhi very well...
"Put the interest of the people first. Because me I am going to provide you with an office, I will provide you with a vehicle and I will provide you with a driver and fuel. Things which the party you are belonging to did not give you. I hope we will see how much you are going to work," President Sata said.