FORMER President Rupiah Banda was yesterday interrogated on corruption allegations for about three hours amid tight security, a few days after Parliament lifted his immunity against prosecution.
Mr Banda arrived for interrogations amid a heavy presence of State security at the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) offices in Lusaka on Government Road around 10:20 hours.
He disembarked from his vehicle a distance away from the DEC offices due to uncontrollable behaviour by a handful of slogan-chanting MMD and UPND cadres.
Police had a difficult encounter with the unruly cadres who wanted to escort their embattled leader to the DEC offices on Government Road, as they engaged in verbal confrontations with police in riot gear.
At this point, Mr Banda disembarked from his vehicle, saying, "why all these people (cadres) we are even failing to drive through, I think I'll just walk there."
Mr Banda walked the distance in the company of MMD leader Nevers Mumba and his administrative secretary, Mikatazo Wakumelo as he waved to onlookers.
He was led into the DEC premises in the company of his lawyers, Sakwiba Sikota of Central Chambers and Patrick Mvunga of Messrs Mvunga and Associates and Ireen Kunda.
At around 13:35 hours, Mr Banda emerged from the DEC offices and addressed members of the Press that waited outside the premises as well as his supporters.
"I would like to urge our members and the public to remain calm and peaceful even as we go to the courts and throughout the whole process. May God bless all of you for coming and for taking interest in this matter that is affecting me and your other leaders, we are meeting tomorrow again," Mr Banda said.
Later, Government Joint Investigative Team (GJIT) spokesperson, Namukolo Kasumpa told journalists that the interrogations would continue this morning.
"I can't give details for now, all I can say is that we have adjourned the interrogations for now and we will continue tomorrow (today) at 09.00 hours. That is all I can say," Ms Kasumpa said.
MMD members of Parliament, led by vice-president for administration, Brian Chituwo, Nalikwanda MP, Geoffrey Lungwangwa, party spokesperson and Petauke MP, Dora Siliya, Sinda's Levy Ngoma and Kenneth Chipungu (Rufunsa), were among a horde of spectators awaiting the outcome of the interrogations.
The Road Traffic and Safety Agency (RTSA) Ridgeway branch, located next to the DEC offices suspended operations as police blocked the route only allowing ambulances that were rushing to the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) to use the road.
Among allegations against the former head of State is that he entered into an illegal oil contract with a Nigerian firm involving US$2.5 million whose proceeds were allegedly deposited in an off-shore account.
Mr Banda and his family members were also accused of preparing their own loan agreements to procure a loan of US$1million from Hands Industries, a firm listed in Dubai as a dealer in clothing and not a financier, for Mpundu Trust.
Mr Banda worked with two other people who in February, 2012 resigned and Mr Banda became director.
Additionally, the GJIT established that Nyiombo Investments procured an unsecured loan for Mpundu Trust, whose directors were Thandiwe Chilongo Banda, a spouse of Mr Banda, a director.