President Rupiah Banda and his ministers
President Rupiah Banda and his ministers

With Zambia’s president ailing, his predecessor Rupiah Banda hinted at a possible return to politics on Wednesday, telling AFP he would change the country’s constitution if elected.

The 77-year-old Banda said he had “heard those calls” for him to return to the political fray amid speculation that incumbent Michael Sata’s apparent illness may force early elections.

“Up to now I have not reacted, I am just listening. I am legally eligible to stand but I have not reacted,” Banda said.

He added that enacting a new constitution would be his top priority if he makes a return to politics.

“Instantly it would be announced that the constitution has to be changed,” he said. “My running cry will be to have a new constitution.”

Banda was defeated at elections in 2011 but would be a formidable rival for the ruling Patriotic Front.

File:I didnt keep you waiting... President Rupiah Banda seems to tell defence chiefs who received him when he arrived from Swaziland where he went for a SADC meeting
File:I didnt keep you waiting… President Rupiah Banda seems to tell defence chiefs who received him when he arrived from Swaziland where he went for a SADC meeting

This despite facing a series of corruption charges which his supporters say are political motivated.

Sata has two more years left on his term but has been beset by rumours about ill health.
After not being seen in public for three months, in September he appeared in parliament, telling lawmakers “I am not dead,” but doing little else to end suggestions he is gravely ill.

Later in the month he failed to make a scheduled speech to the UN general assembly.
Banda on Wednesday refused to comment on his successor’s health.

“There has been no official announcement to the president’s health and so I would not want to comment on that issue. The president is my brother,” he said

During the last elections Sata promised to pass a new constitution within 90 days significantly limiting the president’s powers and introducing a run-off in presidential elections.
No such reforms have been passed.

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79 COMMENTS

    • Rupiah Banda was 100 times better than Sata and it’s a darn shame he lost the elections.BUT it’s time for the young people to lead.It’s time for those born after 1964 to take the baton from the freedom fighters and lead Zambia to greater heights.I just hope us young people will have half the courage the freedom fighters had to stand up and be heard.

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    • BASHI JAMES PLZ,WHA KIND OF SELFFISHNESS IS THIS.YOU LIFT THE PARTY IN DIFFICULTIES NOW THAT THE MAN OF GOD IS PUTTING IN ORDER THE MESS YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN LEFT,YOU WANT TO BRING CONFUSION IN MMD

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    • RB is hammering the last nail in MMD’s coffin just like Kaunda did when he replaced Kebby Musokotwane and killed off any little hope people had in UNIP.

      To us in UPND his move is more than welcome.

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    • Admittedly, RB’s fall from grace came too suddenly. He is now waking-up to a painful realization, after a lull in denial and helplessly trying to bask in false glory. However, in politics, second chances are a rarity. He lost it.

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    • Fossils like him belong in museums , the whole thing is befuddling because he performed lugubrious when he was at the helm , let him rest.

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    • We could have cheered him all the way to the ring, as ‘a come back kid.’ except he is not a kid anymore. He is too old for this type of a game. Let him, instead, devote his time to his family, work on his will, maintain the regular doctor visits and enjoy his retirement.

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    • @It’s a Worry
      Iwe Kembo you keep rumbling on the issue of ZRL. On Jan, 22, 2013, there was this story
      “Zambia Railways Limited will create 10 000 jobs during its reconstruction stage in the next three years. Zambia Railways Managing Director Clive Chirwa said that the railway company needs about one billion US Dollars to fully recapitalize the company.

      Professor Chirwa said that the reconstruction stage will involve replacing of the railway line, training of experts and buying of new locomotives.

      He has told ZNBC News in an interview that the recruitment exercise is expected to start in the next two weeks.

      Professor Chirwa said that Zambia Railways has already received 120 Million US Dollars for the reconstruction of the railway company.

      He said that the reconstruction of…

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    • Why did he not release the constitution when he was in power? Who will vote for the thief? At 77, he is to old to stand. Anyway if he feels he should he should dare do that and will be demolished badly.

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    • Dear RB your time and your kind is up. It is the time for the right people with correct orientation to take the leadership now. Twapapata take leave and listen now before it is too late for you. Once you do a comeback, you will loss the little respect you are enjoying now.

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    • Folks

      Kambwili should be fired and replaced with Miles Sampa. What do you think?

      Reason: He is stupid and has no acumen to be a youth leader. The man is undermining and worsening PF ‘s popularity. We judge PF as a party for stupid people because such elements like Kambwili.

      The Zambian youth need some one else with a logical plan for the youth.

      Miles Sampa can do Kambwili’s job perfectly well.

      Please Sata fire Kambwili and give that job to Miles Sampa with the right Acumen and understanding.

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    • i bet RB and Nevers will have a great time in mmd massaging each others bottoms with exotic oil and chocolate fondue; evans mfula at evaduco reporting live from the streets of lusaka

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    • RB has both legal and moral right to come back to politics.Even in boxing or wrestling,there is a rematch close.In politics,if you have not served two consecutive terms,one is legally eligible to try his luck at the next polls.Let the voters be the final judges.IT IS UP TO YOU RB TO MAKE A DECISION!!!!!!!!

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    • The selflessness that Madiba exhibited, has and will forever hold his legacy in high esteem on the African continent and the world at large.What our leaders dont realize is that,politics should not be a career but a service.There goes another African leader ruining his reputation,what a shame.

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    • @Chindakwanda
      Your limited capacity to defend the indefensible is showing. My point (before Attanga’s confession) that PF lack strategic thinking was very simple. You bombarded me with PF manifesto and your 6th National development plan (Documents used for begging) as evidence of strategic thinking. Now if Chirwa identified the problem from the onset, why didnt the PF go back to the drawing board? Why was Attanga bragging about state of the art trains only a month ago (Did he not know what was coming)? What was the contingency plan? or is the $120 down the drain the contingency after exciting a few blind supporters? You are simly exposing yourself with your illogical arguments.

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    • @It’s a Worry,

      Iwe Kembo, go back to archives and look for the January, 22, 2013 story about the nneds of ZRL.

      You keep rumbling on about this topic.

      “Zambia Railways needs about $1 billion to fully recapitalise the company-Chirwa

      Time Posted: January 22, 2013 12:49 pm”

      When Atanga mentioned $150m, you lost your mind castigating me for saying there are government plans like the vision 2030, SNDP and others. Learn to understand the distinction between a plan and financing that plan.

      Get and education and not training iwe mwana!

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    • @It’s a Worry,

      Iwe ngwele, you are simply ignorant of how government operates. You think all government projects have all the cash outlay needed from the start? Haven’t you heard of a cash budget? It does not mean that when government embarks on a project, they have ALL the money needed up to completion. It is mostly on “pay as we go basis”.

      The principle is that the railway line needs to be rehabilitated! If you agree that it needs to be improved then they better start with what could be raised then through the Euro-bond. Even as Chirwa embarked on his dream systems, he made it clear that he was going to need extra money!

      Your moribund mind and paranoid instincts always sees these things in terms of the party in Power! The rest of your rants is fishing in a dry pond.

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  1. Nevers has alienated all well meaning MMD members. The Party is going nowhere, that is why RB (himself an ousider) think he can salvage the comatose MMD

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    • RB is just greed. Nevers is doing a good job. How long did UNIP take to vanish? Since losing power UNIP never returned a single seat. Even KK abandoned it in preference to PF. Leave Nevers run the party. Those causing problems still think with RB on top, they will eat more. I love MMD because it has a system. Unmatchable by any party in Zambia. It was set up by great men and women.

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  2. Shimpundu whoever is cheating you that you can do better than Nevers needs to have his head examined. Just stay away from politics mwisho, we will respect you more in that way.

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    • It is good that he has now come out that he wants to stand for Presidency instead of hiding behind Zambians want him back, he is the one who wants to come back. A few questions for him why did he fail to implement the constitution after spending huge sums on the NCC in his 3 year rule, what would be different this time around. Why did he remove the windfall taxes which he found and was benefiting Zambia. Why was there purpotted massive corruption under his rule. Why did he fail to improve on quality healthcare in Zambia and instead he and his Ministers opted for Medical tourism abroad at the expense of tax payers, what will be different this time.

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    • Why did he have a lot of trips in the name of wooing investors who have not added value to the improvement of Zambian skills, well being, infrastructure development, quality jobs etc, what will be different this time. Why were some of his Ministers very arrogant with Zambians what would be different this time. Why did he step down as Party President when he lost the elections only to come back after Nevers Mumba has tried very hard to keep the party intact against all odds. Why was he quite when the infightings started in MMD could it be wrong if some people accuse him and suspect him to be part of it and was just using other people. Why has he failed to mentor Nevers Mumba only to want to take over from him.

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    • What will happen if he manages to usurp power from Nevers Mumba in an unethical way and then lose in 2016 will he stay on as Party President and try to build the party and hand it over to an MMD successor in preparation for the 2021 elections, that is what good leaders do instead of running away when there is trouble and only coming back when things start looking good.

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    • Why was there no Media freedom in the National Media during his term, what will be different this time. Why did he handle the Barotse issue in a way that was not peaceful and not in line with National building and empowering the people of Barotseland, what will he do differently this time. Why was he busy trying to privatize National companies without looking at the interests of Zambians and learn from the failed privatized mines that have not benefited Zambia at all apart from during the short windfall tax time. What will he do differently.

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  3. We know you mambala iwe……wht can you tell us.
    We did put you in state house & you were domant & slumbering until we had to WRONGFULLY TRY SATn.
    We need youngs this time around to lead us to the promised land.
    Its HH or Chipimo….!!

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  4. Oh no, not another Old fart.

    State house shall continue as a Hospice, family forest, tender board, travel agency (Kamwendo pa Njila).

    Let’s try young blood.

    You mean to tell me out of the 12million citizens, all the 11,999,999 are not capable of being president?

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  5. No, to Banda. If President Sata, loses 2016, we must break away from old politics. It was a toss up between HH and Chipimo, but not any more. We have clearly seen their Achilles heel. Chipimo too conflicted on copper industry. HH real danger of tribal division.

    This is difficult………… Who now? Not Banda, for sure. He lacks integrity and does not carry himself with dignity. If he had made his decision to run after his trial (although the constitution allows him to run while waiting for trial on corruption charges), maybe I would have raised an eyebrow with mmmmmm noises……and picked someone else!

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  6. RB may be having pressure from the young wife to return to state house. That place is great the only problem is that it also hatches rumours of first ladies having side kicks because the boss is too busy to do the right job.

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  7. The only blame goes to the PF for failing to release the constitution. I say it again, the current constitution only precludes an incumbent from contesting three consecutive terms.
    Frankly, I really believe that the MMD is deeply divided in that there is a faction that understands the reality that RB improves the chances of the party’s re-election and there is another faction that is loyal to Nevers Mumba for reasons unknown. The most interesting thind is that in all this ‘factionalism’ there is a third group of insiders and neutrals that believes that it is not in the best interest of the country to recycle any leader. When you make a concession speech, it is best never to try to come back!

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  8. SAULOSI ulishilu please stop playing such cheap politics and u think MMD members are dull, we are on top of things that’s why u are now panicking even praising this failure NEVERS MUMBA. NEVERS MUMBA is now confused he does not know whom to associate with am shocked that today on news NEVERS is saying DORA SILIYA qualifies to contest Petauke on MMD ticket when it was this same failing pastor who chased DORA from MMD NEC using his bulldog BOWMAN LUSAMBO what type of thinking is this from this fake man of God. Just because DORA is now not in good books with RB he has brought her to his team, it will be stupid of DORA to buy this cheap politics if NEVERS does not apologise to her over the allegation that she got money from state house to remove him from MMD Presidency which was a lie

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  9. These UNIP boys have been together for a very long time. It is The Post that started the rumour and perhaps Sata is asking his mbuya to come back. RB will forgive the DBZ debt, DPP will enter a nolle, and there will be peace in the country, while Sata retires peacefully. I CALL THIS A WIN WIN SITUATION.

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  10. AWISI MPUNDU, NEO NATI, LEKANI IIYI NKANI YO WELELA MU MAPOLITICS.

    MWEO MULUNGU ECHITA CHIFUNDO NAKUMIPANKONI U PRESIDENT FOR 3 YEARS, NIVINYINJI. WONGANI ZIKOMO.

    MWEO AWISI MPHUNDU MWECHENEKA NGAKO NDALAMA NA KUVIMA CAMPAIGN MATEIRALS CHALO CHONSE CHEZONDA MMD MULANDU WAMWEO NA DORA. 1964 MWENZEMOKALE MUMAPOLITICS, INO YEAR NIYA 50 YEARS JUBILEE, MUFUNIKA PUMULA.

    NTHAWI YO CHITA CONSTITUTION MWENZENAYO, MWEKANGIWA. MUTINVWESHA NSONI.

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  11. State in how many days the constitution be in place after being elected into office Mr President, assuming it’s a priority? That line works wonders you know. Evidence is in State House of the Republic Of Zambia.

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  12. This desperation from NEVERS MUMBA is very dangerous how can he talk of DORA today when he made us Party members believe that DORA is evil, and does not mean well for the growth of MMD. How can someone who calls himself a man of God cheat against his party members especially people like DORA who made him win MMD Presidency using her own money? and some conmen like LUSAMBO, KADOBI AND NAKACHINDA want everyone believe in this fake pastor just because he claims to be a man of God while the bible says not all those who call the name of the Lord will enter the Kingdom of God. This pastor harbours a lot of haterage see how he has hated NAMUGALA up to now he stl wants her out of the Party, I don’t know how much money DORA has given him to change his heart what type a party President is…

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  13. This man never stops to amaze me that’s why he has even married a woman younger than his own children he has no wisdom, as much as PF and Sata have failed RB you are not the answer go back home and work on your farm and keep the little respect Zambians still have for you,we don’t want to see you crying like a baby again.

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  14. RB, how is your knee problem? Or what else do you suffer from at 77yrs that we still do not know about? What makes you think you will last 5 yrs?

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  15. RB has a constitutional right to stand again if he so wishes. No one shd condemn him if he so decided. What will be interesting though is how he ll go about it seeing as Nevers’ term runs till the next Presidential elections which entitles him to stand on the MMD ticket. That said, it ll also be interesting to see the reaction from the PF cause they really have gone to sleep….
    I say, game on!

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  16. RB’s return to politics is good news for PF. His logical home will be MMD as usual. This means Mumba is nevers again. And just like he did three yrs ago RB will get votes from HH, Nawakwi, Chipomo etc and hand victory to PF. He can not risk his pension unless PF has sanctioned his return. This is part of PF plans for 2016 victory.

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  17. Comrades vengeance will befall PF! JAIL TERMS waiting!! Time to leave is now while the sun shines. Campaign slogan “vote RB for pay back”.

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  18. I wud vote for him. Not the pumpkins and uselessness we have at the moment. He was trully a president for ALL ZAMBIANS NOT for one region as it is at the moment.

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  19. RB has no shame. Of what relevance is he in today’s national politics? He has outlived his shelf life just like other fosill in state house. Do these fools understand anything about retirement age? Grandpa, at 77, i would expect you to have the wisdom to admit that you have run your race and its time to enjoy your golden years! Prepare to lose the last shred of respect people have for you should you decide to return to politics. Its time to retire to your farm, thump your young wife and make up for lost time. Give it up!

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  20. Suppose we had Mr sata and PF when we had a global financial crisis,with mines closing down and other challenges too numerous to count.Could we have pulled through smoothly as a country?

    Lets give credit where its due.RB as a human being is prone to error,but i think i doesn`t profit us to focus on hi failures more so if he has a record of success in other areas.

    I to some extent agree with those who are calling on the old generation to handle over power to the new generation, but it would i my view, make sense if such transition took place at a time when the country`s leadership crisis is resolved. Let them hand over a country that is vibrant like it was in 2011.RB would carry the nation to that sweet change we are looking for.I would for that reason give him my vote.its upto MMD.

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    • @PK
      I hear you. But keep in mind that these old men had 50 years to hand over power, but they didn’t. FYI, fact is, change can never be sweet. It is always painful because people usually get set in their ways and thus become averse to change. Power on the other hand is sweet and that is why these people still want hold on and run the country like a dynasty. Its pathetic. Kaunda was never groomed for presidency but he ruled the country for close to 30 years! Do have faith boet!

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  21. RB is the man. It is hilarious. I want RB to be taught the greatest lesson in political defeats. The 2011 defeat spared him. If he is banking on Kasenengwa support, he will be shocked. In any case RB stands a better chance of getting 2% of the total national vote count than HH. Nevers Mumba should graciously step aside and let RB lead MMD. Let RB come back to bury MMD which he killed. The stench is so obnoxious and could cause ebola if MMD is not burried.

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  22. This is how the office of the presidency has been reduced in its importance!Poverty also has been humanly made by these leaders so as to have a lot of gullible sycomphants and compulsionists.Next elections will test the youth leaders & voters vs the aged!RB has all his birth rights to stand but he should not cry this time because he is destined to loose big time! That one I’m very certain.

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  23. lets be realistic, RB is the only person who can offer the PF a good run in 2016…Mumba is just wasting this part.

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  24. This is a sick joke!! Are you honestly saying that in our entire population of 15 million plus, we are going to have to stomach another set of greedy backward thinking fore fathers to rule us, when we have a large population of young, vibrant, well educated people who can actually RUN the country, appoint people from all tribes on grounds of Qualifications rather than relatives and mistresses?? Its time for Zambians to drop their drinking habits and think positively for the future of our country. Campaigners give you drink and bingo they have your vote in the blink of an eye. Its time for the over 60’s to RETIRE and open up their stagnant positions for the youth who will bring us out the dark and into the 21st century. Enough is enough.

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  25. Iwe Banda, one of the reasons you lost elections was that you did not support the notion of a new constitution. PF used the new Constitution trick on the Zambians and because we want a new constitution, of course we voted PF. Now you want to also use the same tramp card, who do you think we are? YOU banda, will NEVER be president in Zambia, not through elections. Zambians know you very well. Just go and sleep bwana, mwakula ala!

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  26. Promising the new constitution is on every political party’s manifesto. Zambia will only develop if we can hear promises on political, social and economic endeavors. Chiluba promised democracy and privatisation; he ended up messing up the economy and raped the constitution to bar his opponents.

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  27. This man has no shame and should never be trusted.

    Rupia Banda (23 September 2011)

    ” MY GENERATION… THE GENERATION OF THE INDEPENDENCE STRUGGLE– MUST NOW GIVE WAY TO NEW IDEAS; IDEAS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY. FROM THIS DEFEAT, A NEW, YOUNGER MMD WILL BE RE-BORN. IF I CAN SERVE THAT RE-BUILDING, THEN I WILL…

    …BUT NOW IT IS TIME FOR ME TO STEP ASIDE. NOW IS THE TIME FOR A NEW LEADER. MY TIME IS DONE. IT IS TIME FOR ME TO SAY ‘GOOD BYE’”

    So what has made him go back on his words?

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  28. I would prefer he comes back because there will still remain a political leadership vacuum after sata leaves office. We have not seen any young leaders taking up this challenge and the old leaders are all worse than R.B.

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  29. Why do these old fools believe they are the only ones that can steer this country down the right path?

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  30. RB is the next best thing we have in terms of deplomacy and economic vision for Zambia but unfortunately he has already reached his sale by date. RB come back would be overshadowed by revenge on the Post and it’s cronies. He is promising to put the constitution first, so what’s changed from when he had the chance to do so? He cannot promise us anything because we know that his return will just yield the same old results, packaged in a different way. I will say it again, how can you solve problems from the same level of thinking that created them in the first place? Zambia needs change, we need genuine leaders who put the people of this loving country first.

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  31. Admittedly, RB was not bundled honorably by the then vicious opposition leader and now gentle president Sata. It would seem he has been concocting an ambush on the ailing King Cobra. Unfortunately for RB though, his own legacy is what will continue to haunt him all the way back into the ballot box. With just 3 years in office, he did too much damage, more to himself and to his political career. The odds remain stacked against him!

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    • It’s rather too soon for people to forget. He may repented. But the public is yet to witness his baptism. As at now, he is just a politician looking for another free ride.

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  32. It is insulting, though, to hear RB promising the new constitution if voted into power! Is the Zambian voter that cheap? When will Zambia’s voters start using their heads and not their hearts? Politicians have been taking us for a ride for far too long. They will continue doing so as long as they see it working in their favor.

    Politicians are politicians. They have no ethics. On the basis of this alone, I can see that RB is a liar and a crook. What has changed since the last time he was in office, and opted to deny us the constitution and now? He simply wants the vote, that’s all. Sata did the same. We believed him. But where is the constitution?

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    • It is excruciatingly painful indeed to be lied to time and again for fifty years. For once, we must learn our lesson and say enough is enough.

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  33. As long as a sitting President still has a chance of winning a second term there will never be a proper consitutional review. Any new constitution threatens those in power. Unless we become like countries where the President is only allowed one term then we will see a new constitution because the incumbent will have no vested interest. Once one is elected in Zambia their mission is to consolidate power (hence the endless by-elections) and anything calling for 50+1 threatens their hold to power. Politicians will talk and make promises which they do not fulfill because they know we do not take them to task. Our culture allows politicians to lie and it is an acceptable way of life. Only a President in his second term has any hope to bring about real meaningful change to our constitution

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  34. (Continued)

    But again they steal so much during their reign they want to manipulate whomsoever takes over power from them after the second term. So even during the second term there is no guarantee that such an undertaking will endure. It then becomes a vicious circle where politicians make promises then they are afraid that the new constitution threatens their existence. In other words the hard fact is that a new constitution, not in Zambia bane.

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  35. Mr Rupiah Banda, the truth is you were a fluke that rode on late Mwanawasa’s glory as VP and hence winning your president because people wanted to continue with Mwanawasa’s legacy. Whoever is lying to you that you can come back if you could not win as incumbent President, will harm you because you will lose all your benefits. In any case, why not ask your son in hiding Henry to come back because he’s the reason you are probably not in prison for your corrupt malpractices, from a red stocking wearing peasant farmer, to the gift Mwanawasa gave you that has helped you. Be content with your time because uzalila iwe mambala. We have started to forget about your even putting chitenges on dogs, goats and even trees and now you want to rekindle that? Just know this time we wont be as…

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  36. Rb,rb,rb behave thy self,wat is it dat u think u cn do in dat nyama soya of urs dat u didnt do wen u were in power?let me remind u dat u were badly beaten by hemcs wen u were in power,do u still want dat humiliation?

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  37. Bashi James come and bring sanity to the ailing economy and dead politics in our land. That is what democracy means. You have every right to come back and campaign if you want. Forget those that don’t like you as a person. You gave Zambia some decency not these politicians who do not seem to know whether they are coming or going. You left 3bn US$ in reserve only for these failed politicians to squanda.

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