Former Republican President Rupiah Banda has formerly endorsed the candidature of PF President Edgar Lungu in the January 20 Presidential election.
Mr Banda’s support is however on condition that the PF addresses some of the contentious issues affecting the Zambia people once elected into office.
Mr Banda said once ushered into office, Mr Lungu should immediately undertake measures to lower costs of basic goods, stabilize the economy, address issues that might disrupt the country’s peace and deliver a genuine people driven constitution.
He said the MMD decided to endorse the PF presidential candidate because he possesses the qualities of a leader that can be trusted with the responsibilities of the country and had shown to address the contentious issues.
Mr Banda said this during a joint press briefing with Mr Lungu held at Protea hotel in Chipata this afternoon.
“We will measure the commitment of Mr Lungu if he reduces the prices of mealie meal, cement, fertilizer, fuel and others that enable our citizens to achieve sustainability and stabilize the economy by rationalizing public debt and expenditures with more transparency,” he said.
Mr Banda stressed the need to ensure a prudent fiscal management, provision of an attractive and stable domestic and foreign investment, and guarantee payments to farmers on a timely basis.
The former head of state said he could not support any candidate that would seek to eliminate or weaken the MMD.
He stated that the MMD had chosen to endorse a candidate who understood that the MMD should remain intact as an institution opposed to poaching Members of Parliament like a named political party.
“ I have friends even in the UPND but I cannot agree with the approach they have taken of poaching individual MMD members to defect to their camp instead of negotiating openly with the whole part as this strategy ignores the interest of the general MMD membership of the party.” He said.
He stressed the need for continued and stability in the country.
We need stability and continuity not a revolution, where we must rally behind a new leader who has shown the qualities of humility, commitment and unity as we set aside past grievances and accept and trust one another in order to heal and work together to make Zambia a safe place to live in,” he said.
Mr Banda expressed disappointment with the named political party which he said had given money to his son to issue derogatory remarks against him.
“Opasa ndalama bana bayawo kuti awotukwana awusuwao, (they are giving money to children with intent to insult their father) such political leaders are not good leaders,” he said.
And PF president Edgar Lungu thanked the former head of state for his support saying the PF is guaranteed to win the January 20 election with support from the MMD and the former head of state.
He pledged to do everything within his powers to deliver to the people of Zambia.
Mr Lungu rubbished the social contract being advocated by the Grand Coalition saying he had already shown commitment to deliver a people driven constitution by releasing the draft constitution to parliament.
Meanwhile, hundreds of PF and MMD cadres this afternoon gathered at Protea hotel chanting their party slogans and pledging to support the ruling PF in the Presidential election.