News24

Banda's son seeks return to India

2012-07-19 17:44

Lusaka - The son of Zambian former president Rupiah Banda, who has been charged with corruption in a construction deal, asked a court on Thursday to return his passport to allow him to travel abroad.

Andrew Banda's lawyer filed papers in the Lusaka High Court stating that the restriction on overseas travel was "a breach of his fundamental right to the freedom of movement".

Banda, who is the country's deputy high commissioner to India, was arrested in May on charges of corruption and possession of assets bought with dirty money. He has asked to return to India, where his family is still living.

Investigators allege that he charged Italian construction company Fratelli Locci 2% of all its earnings for building roads in the country.

Authorities also say Banda could not explain the origin of 360 million kwacha ($67 000) in his bank account, money suspected to come from criminal activity.

Andrew is the eldest son of former president Banda, who lost to then-opposition leader Michael Sata in September elections.

His brother Henry is also sought by the police over graft claims in the $257m sale of state fixed-line operator Zamtel to a Libyan company in 2010.

Sata's government reversed the deal in January.

Since assuming office, Sata has embarked on an anti-corruption drive, opening inquiries into shady business deals and retiring heads of parastatals whom he perceived as perpetrators of graft.