PARLIAMENT yesterday removed former President Rupiah Banda's immunity from prosecution because of alleged corrupt activities and misappropriation of public funds during the time he served as Head of State.
Moving the motion on the matter that raised varying emotions among MPs, Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba said Mr Banda during his tenure allegedly abused the authority of office, and corruptly acquired property.
He said the former president also allegedly misappropriated funds in respect of crude oil contracts with a Nigerian Petroleum Corporation.
Mr Kabimba said on December 21, 2011, the Government Joint Investigations Team (GJIT) conducted a search on the property of former Energy Minister Kenneth Konga in Lusaka.
During a search, the team found a letter dated November 25, 2008, which was signed by Mr Banda requesting for supply of 45,000 barrels per day of Term Crude Oil from the Nigerian firm.
"The GJIT has established that the Zambian Government paid the sum of US$2.5 million to the Nigerian company for the said crude oil facility through the Zambian Government's Nigerian Procurement Agent called Sarb Energy Ltd.
"The team also established that Henry Banda, son to Mr Rupiah Banda, was involved in the oil deal with the sole responsibility of deciding where the Nigerian firm assigned to uplift the crude would remit the proceeds for the transaction. Mr Henry Banda opened an off-shore account with Barclays Bank in Singapore into which the proceeds were remitted on behalf of his father," Mr Kabimba said.
The Minister said diversion of the proceeds constituted abuse of authority of office, fraud and misappropriation of public funds on Mr Rupiah Banda's part for which he must be prosecuted.
Further investigations revealed that Mr Banda and his family in 2011 spent more than K20 billion on the purchase of election campaign materials.
He told the House that Mr Banda disbursed the funds through his Senior Private Secretary and the MMD Campaign Centre Manager and that he also disbursed K60 million paid in three installments to each parliamentary candidate in all the 150 constituencies.
Mr Kabimba said Mr Banda also disbursed K2 million to each local government candidate for the total of 1, 400 wards.
"The GJIT has now established that K21, 907, 847, 170 cash was personally disbursed by Mr Rupiah Banda and his family and that the MMD never had such sums of money in its bank account at any time.
"During the period, Mr Banda purchased bicycle spares and accessories from Atlas Cycles and printed fabrics from in India at declared value of K371,908,000 with duty at K81,076,292 while 42 Toyota Hilux Vigo from Western, a United Arab based firm with valued at K1,869, 840,000 and K892,434, 129 as duty.
Similarly, materials including branded candy lollypops, 40 used Bedford Trucks, branded t-shirts, caps, badges, hats, balloons, hand flags and flags were bought from various suppliers in the Emirates, United Kingdom and China.
Others were bought from Japan, Malawi and South Africa that included 77 used light trucks, 2, 407 bales of printed fabric, t-shirts, badges and hats, balloons and various motor vehicle types all valued at K10,107,847,170.
He said Mr Banda and his family prepared their own loan agreements to procure a loan of $1,000,000 from Hands Industries, a firm listed in Dubai as a dealer in clothing and not a financier, for Mpundu Trust.
The GJIT established Nyiombo Investments procured the unsecured loan for Mpundu Trust, whose directors were Thandiwe Chilongo Banda and two other people who in February 2012, resigned and Mr Banda became a director.
Other offences brought to the House included money laundering activities such as the acquisition of a $200,000 Higer Bus, branded bulbs worth $60,000, importation of shoes worth $300,000 from Mauritius and importation of 38 trucks from the UK worth &100, 000.
Before the House adjourned sine die and after a lot of debates, the motion went to a vote with 80 for Yes, three for No while 4 were absentees.