Rupiah Banda: Ex-president of Zambia arrested


Zambia's Former president Rupiah Banda (C) with his son Andrew (R) leave the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) in Lusaka on March 19, 2013 after a second day of interrogations by the joint government investigative wings was postponed.


Joseph Mwenda

Former president of Zambia, Rupiah Banda, was arrested in connection with a Nigerian oil deal on Monday.

"President Rupiah Banda has been formally charged and arrested in connection with the procurement of oil which did not benefit the country," Namukolo Kasumpa, a spokeswoman for government investigators, told reporters.

Banda was stripped of his presidential immunity last week after being accused of stealing more than $11 million during his three years in office, an allegation unconnected to the charges he was arrested for on Monday.

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He was questioned for close to three hours after his arrest Monday before he was released on bail.

He is due to appear in court on Tuesday.

Banda denies the charges, and his lawyers claim the arrest is an attempt by current President Michael Sata to silence him.

After his release, Banda appeared before his supporters and told them to remain calm, reassuring them he would win his case in court.