Zambia: Rupiah Banda’s retirement benefits frozen

“Immediately they [MMD] made the announcement to the effect that RB [Rupiah Banda] is still the acting president, he is also disqualified from receiving any emoluments due to a former president because it means that he is still in active politics,” said Given Lubinda, Zambian Government spokesperson.

The MMD announced Saturday evening that its national executive committee (NEC) had agreed that Mr Banda continues as president until it holds an extra-ordinary convention to pick his successor. According to the Zambian Constitution, benefits conferred by the Benefits of Former Presidents (Amendment) Act of 1998 “shall not be paid, assigned or provided to a former president who is engaged in active politics.”

The Constitution states that the interpretation of “active politics” is “the doing of any act indicating a person’s intention to hold elective or appointive office; or the holding of elective of appointive office in a political party, or in an organisation whose main aim is the furtherance of political objectives.”

Lubinda recently warned that Banda risked losing his benefits if he continued participating in politics.

Banda had initially intimated that he had retired from politics about a month after he lost an election to his successor Michael Sata.
He is yet to comment on the halt to his retirement benefits.

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