, LUSAKA, Aug 9 – Henry Banda, the son of former Zambian leader Rupiah Banda and the target of an arrest warrant for corruption, said Thursday his rights will be violated if he goes home to face investigators.
“Since the government has threatened me, sued and threatened my attorney, and improperly influenced the prosecutor and judiciary within Zambia, I will not return to Zambia when my basic human rights will not be honoured,” Banda, who is currently in South Africa, said in an open letter to Zambians.
“The investigation is nothing more than a witch hunt,” added the letter, dated August 9.
Banda has been out of the country since his father lost power to populist Michael Sata in a presidential election last year. The police issued a warrant for his arrest to all 190 Interpol member states in October 2011.
He is wanted over allegations of corruption in the sale of Zambian state-run telecommunications company Zamtel to LAP Green of Libya. Sata’s government reversed the $257-million deal in January.
Banda said he was ready to cooperate with investigators, but not on Zambian territory.
“In order to be responsible to the rule of law, I have advised the government that I am presently in South Africa and am willing to assist in any lawful investigation and answer questions in this neutral environment,” he said.
“But despite having notified the Zambian authorities of my whereabouts… the Zambian government has neglected to respond,” he added, saying this showed the accusations against him “cannot be considered anything more than a politically motivated smear campaign”.