14 February 2013

Zambia: TIZ Plans RB Immunity Strip Campaign

Photo: Nation
(file photo) Former president Rupiah Banda inspects a guard of honour.

TRANSPARENCY International Zambia (TIZ) is preparing to mobilise citizens to press members of Parliament (MPs) to lift immunity on former president Rupiah Banda.

TIZ executive director Goodwell Lungu said in Lusaka yesterday that other interest groups should join in and ensure that parliamentarians lift the immunity of the former Head of State.

"TIZ will consider mobilising citizens to demonstrate on this noble cause to press our MPs to lift Mr Banda's immunity. We want to advise and appeal to Zambians that an option of holding politicians accountable is one of the sure ways of instilling a sense of responsibility in elected leaders," he said in a statement yesterday.

This comes against a backdrop of panic in the Rupiah Banda camp consisting of MMD leader Nevers Mumba, his United Party for National Development (UPND) counterpart Hakainde Hichilema and Sakwiba Sikota from the United Liberal Party (ULP).

The opposition leaders held a media briefing in South Africa on Tuesday calling for suspension of Zambia from the Commonwealth, but Government said the manoeuvres were being spearheaded by Mr Banda.

Meanwhile, two Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have criticised the decision by the opposition political parties to hold a media briefing in South Africa calling for the suspension of Zambia from the Commonwealth over alleged abuse of human rights.

Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) and the Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) have advised the opposition to dialogue within the confines of the country if aggrieved.

FODEP programmes manager Hope Mubanga said it was not necessary for opposition political parties to hold a media briefing in a foreign country when there were sufficient avenues to dialogue on issues that affected the nation.

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