Zambia ex-leader to answer graft charges

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iol pic afr zambia -politics AFP Former Zambian President Rupiah Banda

Lusaka - A Zambian government anti-graft panel has summoned former president Rupiah Banda to answer corruption charges, the state-run Times of Zambia said on Tuesday.

The move is part of a sweeping anti-corruption campaign launched by Banda's successor Michael Sata which mainly targets members of the former administration.

Banda, who took office in 2008 but lost the 2011 election to Sata, is due to appear before the anti-graft task force on Thursday.

“The government... team has been carrying out investigations into allegations of corruption and other criminal activities in which you have been named,” according to the summons quoted by the Times.

Details of the allegations against Banda, who enjoys immunity from prosecution as a former head of state, were not disclosed.

“We are mindful that you currently enjoy immunity from prosecution on offences allegedly committed while you served as republican president,” Anti-Corruption Commission chief Rosewin Wandi said.

“However, it might serve your interests to avail yourself the opportunity to provide answers to the allegations made against you without losing your immunity,” Wandi said.

In what is said to be a drive to weed out corruption, Sata's government has systematically detained or questioned the president's critics, including politicians and journalists. - AFP


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