THE Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) has thanked His Excellency Rupiah Banda, the Fourth President of the Republic of Zambia, for the role he has played in preparing Kenya for the general elections set for 4th March, 2013.
And the Millennium Excellence Foundation (MEF) has described President Banda’s appointment to lead a 50-person Carter Centre international election observer mission in Kenya as hardly surprising.
In a letter to the immediate past Zambian head of State , EISA Kenya country director Felix Odhiambo says President Banda’s willingness to attend the election preparation conference and deliver the keynote speech in Nairobi last month made a great deal on the success of the conference and re-engineering of the EISA work towards supporting democratic free and fair elections in Kenya and the African continent.
The election preparation conference was held in partnership with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission of Kenya, the Judiciary working Committee on Election Preparations and the Kenyatta University School of Law.
“Excellency, your presentation and wise counsel did enrich the electoral discourse in our country in the run-up to the general elections. Your choice of words and sagacious advice on electoral preparations and peaceful conduct during the electoral process will surely go a long way in radiating our country’s path towards peaceful, free and fair elections,” reads part of Mr. Odhiambo’s letter.
ZANIS reports that this is contained in a statement signed by the former Republican President ‘s Acting Administrative Assistant Kennedy Limwanya.
Mr. Odhiambo adds that the EISA family is forever indebted to President Banda for the support he has accorded the pursuit of its mission to strive for excellence in the promotion of credible elections, citizen participation, and the strengthening of political institutions for sustainable democracy in Africa.
“No amount of words can express our sincere gratitude; thank you Mr. President.”
Mr. Banda last year led an EISA election observer mission to the National Assembly elections in Lesotho.
And Millennium Excellence Foundation chairman Ashim Morton says President Banda’s commitment to creating an enabling democratic environment at the regional, sub regional, national and local levels in order to achieve sustained economic growth and sustainable development, is seen in his support for African efforts for peace, stability and security.
“As we can all see, how you so eloquently accepted defeat from the loss of the electoral campaign in Zambia and endorsed the incoming president, shows maturity and one that all current heads of State in Africa should emulate when they lose elections.
“ Your new position to lead a 50-man Carter Centre team in Kenya is a just nomination and we wish you well,” wrote Ambassador Morton.
The Millennium Excellence Foundation is the organiser of Africa’s most prestigious international awards event that recognises individuals who have selflessly devoted themselves to bringing about change in the lives of Africans within the last decade.
In appointing President Banda as leader of the Carter Centre election observation mission to Kenya, former United States President and chairman of the Carter Centre Jimmy Carter said his staff had reported about the former Zambian head of State’s “immense contributions to Sierra Leone’s recent election, where his leadership and diplomacy contributed to acceptance of results and a peaceful post-election period.
“I invite you to serve as a leader to our delegation. Your experience, knowledge and political leadership would be invaluable to the mission.”