THERE will be no bad precedent set in removing former President Rupiah Banda's immunity, Chief Government spokesperson Kennedy Sakeni has said.
Mr Sakeni said this in reaction to Mr Banda's statement to the media in Kenya, where he has been invited to lead a delegation to monitor that country's general elections.
The former Head of State said a bad precedent would be set if his immunity was to be lifted.
But Mr Sakeni said immunity was not a birthright but a privilege which could be removed as and when deemed necessary in accordance with the law.
"Government wishes to state categorically that there will be no bad precedence set in removing former President Rupiah Banda's immunity, contrary to his assertions in Kenya today (yesterday), as reported in the media," Mr Sakeni said.
Mr Sakeni, who is Information and Broadcasting Services Minister, said in a statement released in Lusaka yesterday that Government was acting within the Constitution.
"This is just as the MMD did not act outside the law to remove the late former President, Dr Frederick Chiluba's immunity," he said.
He said the MMD lifted, through Parliament, the immunity of late former President Dr Chiluba, who was their own member, to enable him clear his name on the allegations of plunder of the national resources.
"This was the MMD then in power lifting the immunity of the man they themselves sponsored to lead the nation," Mr Sakeni said.
Mr Sakeni said Zambians had not forgotten that it was in fact Mr Banda's Government that set a bad precedent by letting Dr Chiluba "off the hook."
"We recall how Mr Rupiah Banda talked about the late Dr Chiluba's judgment at a rally in Kabwe even before it was delivered in court.
Clearly, Mr Banda was trying to protect the late former President Chiluba so as to protect himself in return," he said.