THE fugitive son of former President Rupiah Banda, Henry, has resurfaced in South Africa as the Kenyan High Commission yesterday revealed that Henry, a regular in the East African country where he had business contacts, often used three different passports to enter and exit Kenya.
This was after another eye witness told the Daily Mail yesterday that he saw Henry having dinner at Signature Restaurant located in the up-market Johannesburg’s Morningside Shopping Centre last Wednesday clearly relaxed as if it was business as usual.
“Yes I saw him. I know him and the wife,” the eye witness said, “so I am surprised that there is massive speculation about where he is. Henry is here (Johannesburg) but I am not willing to go on record with this.”
The eye witness expressed frustration at the pace investigations were going even after an international warrant of arrest was issued.
He said “the Zambian investigative wings should develop more sophistication instead of relying on hearsay. In fact, they don’t even need to have too much sophistication to crack this case open”.
“The guy lives here as a free man. It’s so frustrating watching all of this knowing that if I wander around Sandton Mall even this week, I will bump into him,” the witness retorted.
The source said if Zambian authorities are serious about arresting Henry, they do not need to look further than South Africa.
And Kenya’s High Commissioner to Zambia Kipyego Cheluget said records in Kenya indicate that Henry left that country on November 23, 2011 via Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and has not returned. His father said he had not been to Kenya in six months.
He restated his country’s determination to arrest him once he enters that country, following the Interpol warrant against him.
He said Henry used Zambian passport number ZP 005673 the last time he entered and left Kenya and has previously used different passports with numbers ZP 005193 and ZP 005131.
Dr Cheluget has also said the Kenyan government is deeply disturbed by media reports in Zambia alleging that Henry is hiding in that country’s State House.
He said Kenya cannot keep or hide a foreign national who is wanted for questioning in their country, adding that the allegations are not true.
He said at a media briefing in Lusaka yesterday that relevant Kenyan government security agencies have, however, been mobilised to arrest Henry if he sets foot in that country again.
“In fact, it is The Post that made this claim in a banner headline. Kenya demands an apology for this claim from The Post newspaper, which made these false claims,” the Kenyan envoy said.
“His Excellency Mwai Kibaki and his family live in State House, Nairobi, and to claim that he is hiding a fugitive is really to belittle the dignity of our President and the Kenyan nation,” Dr Cheluget said.
“The continued unfounded media speculation on the issue may be unnecessarily injurious to the good relations between the two sister states. It is prudent that the media verifies information before publishing because wild claims may be detrimental to good co-existence with friendly states,” Dr Cheluget said.
He said the Kenyan government has checked records at entry points and ascertained that Mr Banda is not in that country “or if he is, then he did not use designated entry points”.
Dr Cheluget noted that the Zambia government through Interpol issued a notice to Interpol member countries, including Kenya, for the arrest of Henry, awaiting formal extradition.
He also said the two countries will from March 7 to 9 hold a Joint Permanent Commission on Co-operation where all matters of mutual interest will be discussed.
Henry and former Transport and Communications Minister Dora Siliya have been linked to the fraudulent sale of Zamtel to Libya’s LapGreen, a transaction that has since been reversed by President Sata as he fights graft. Henry is also said to be the master mind of the billion dollar contract of oil from Kenya that committed the government to yet billions of more dollars.
Foreign Affairs Minister Given Lubinda advised Henry more than twice to hand himself to police because in Zambia everybody is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law before his hide and seek turned into a diplomatic mess between Zambia and Kenya.

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