Former President Rupiah Bwezani Banda has refuted claims that the country is sliding into dictatorship.
Mr. Banda noted that the country is still enjoying a democratic governance and applauded late President Frederick Chiluba for the introduction of democracy.
He instead advised the Church to counsel the incarcerated leader Hakainde Hichilema to concede defeat.
Mr Banda said Mr Hichilema’s refusal to accept losing an election was the source of all the assertions of that the country was in dictatorship.
He was answering questions from Journalists after he laid wreaths on late second Republican President Chiluba’s grave on the occasion to commemorate the seventh anniversary of his death.
President Banda observed that the re-election of President Edgar Chagwa Lungu is one that has been accepted by the international community, the church itself and most importantly Zambians.
He observed that even leaders such as first Republican President Kenneth Kaunda had accepted defeat when the people had spoken and it is this decision that makes him a role model.
“When we have had an election and it has been declared we are supposed to accept… Dr Kaunda did it, I did it and I hope the others will learn to do that,” he said.
“Let’s assume he wins the election in five years and the current government loses and he wins, our brother who is in prison we will expect that people should accept. If he does not accept now why would he expect people to accept when he wins.”
President Banda repeatedly refused assertions that the country was a dictatorship or sliding into a dictatorship.
He observed that he did belong to the party and ruled from the party crowned as mother of democracy and thus knew what a democratic government was.