Former President Rupiah Banda has explained that his endorsement of President Lungu was in line with his previous support for Mr Lungu in the January 2015 Presidential by – elections.
Dr Banda has maintained that President Lungu presents the country with continuity and stability, especially following the frequent changes in leadership at the helm in a short period of just ten years.
Mr. Banda further observed that holding five elections in such a short time cannot have positive impact on the economy and the unity of the nation.
He added that he is personally delighted that President Lungu has continued with the many development programmes initiated over the years, including the Mongu – Kalabo road and the Great East road from Luangwa to Chipata, the Kafue Lower Hydro – power station and social infrastructure such as schools and hospitals to mention but a few.
Dr Banda noted that all this has been achieved in a very short period of time, amidst adverse global economic challenges.
He said he was therefore convinced that given enough time, President Lungu was capable of delivering even more development to the nation.
The former president has also announced that he decided to endorse and support the candidature of President Edgar Chagwa Lungu in the forthcoming August 11th general elections.
Mr. Banda said he had made this decision in exercise of his right as a citizen of the Republic of Zambia.
And on the occasion of the country’s commemoration of the Heroes and Unity holiday, Dr Banda implored the political leadership of the country, to ensure that whoever wins the 11th August elections puts in place, as a matter of priority, measures to address the feeling of marginalisation currently prevalent in the nation so that the victory will be a victory for all Zambians and the country can move forward together.
“His Excellency Mr. Rupiah Banda has joined the founding President of the Republic of Zambia Dr. Kenneth Kaunda in calling on all Zambians across political, ethnic and religious divides to embrace the peace that the country has continued to enjoy since the attainment of its independence and avoid any form of violence as the best way of honouring our fallen heroes,” a statement issued by his office says.
Mr Banda has since called upon the country’s leaders in the various political parties to emulate the spirit of the founding fathers who, when faced with the challenge of political violence in the sixties, put the interests of the ordinary Zambian citizens first and forged a united front that saw Mr. Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula’s African National Congress Party (ANC) and Dr. Kenneth Kaunda’s United National Independence Party (UNIP) merge into one united party under UNIP in the spirit of the country’s motto of One Zambia, One Nation.