23 February 2013

Zambia: 'Sikota, Amsterdam Misleading RB'

GOVERNMENT is not surprised that United Liberal Party (ULP) leader Sakwiba Sikota has come to the defence of former President Rupiah Banda's lawyer Robert Amsterdam's derogatory remarks against Zambians.

Chief Government spokesperson Kennedy Sakeni said Zambians should insist that Mr Banda takes full responsibility of Mr Amsterdam's recent remarks.

Mr Sakeni, who is Information and Broadcasting Services Minister, said it was not in order for Mr Sikota to defend utterances from Mr Amsterdam.

The ULP leader in a statement accused Mr Sakeni of twisting the statement Mr Amsterdam issued at a media briefing in South Africa recently.

"It's honourable to admit when one blunders. Mr Sikota must not justify the unjustifiable," he said.

Mr Sakeni said in a statement yesterday that Mr Sikota and Mr Amsterdam had misadvised their client.

He wondered what charges Mr Banda wanted to be made available to him when he refused to cooperate with law enforcement agencies basing his dispute on his immunity.

He said Mr Banda's lawyers should know that calling Zambians 'idiots' when they were insisting on accountability from him would not make charges he was likely to face go away.

"For us, it is good that Mr Sikota has identified himself as playing a political role because it's clear that he is not giving Mr Banda legal but political advice.

The same is true with Mr Amsterdam," he said.

He said the most honourable thing Mr Banda could do either personally or through his lawyers, was to apologise to the Zambian people for issuing derogatory remarks.

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