Former Republican President Rupiah Banda has urged political party candidates in the coming General Elections to respect the electorate’s choice through the ballot box.
Mr Banda advises political party candidates to accept the outcome in this year’s election as every election has winners and losers.
Speaking during a live podcast on his Facebook page the fourth Republican President explained that every election has winners and losers adding that any attempt by any entity acting alone or in consent with others to impose a leadership outside the concept of one man, one vote will be an assault on the sacrifices of the country’s founding fathers.
He said this impairs the country’s sovereignty and independence and also jeopardizes the peace and unity of the current generation and those to come.
“Aggrieved parties must use the judiciary to challenge the electoral outcomes that they are displeased with,” he said.
Mr Banda , who himself conceded defeat to now late President Micheal Sata in 2011, further added that winners must remain humble, magnanimous and show respect to the losers.
He advised that losers on the other hand must be able to graciously accept defeat, congratulate the winners, reorganize themselves and try again in the next election.
“During my tenure as president I emphasized on the importance of contesting parties to respect the will of the people,” he said
Citizens should work together to ensure that peace and unity prevail before, during and after the elections and leaders in the various faith based organisations to pray earnestly to for peace and preservation of the great nation.
“Politicians must ensure that they do not destroy Zambia by desisting from resorting to retrogressive and divisive activities such as violence, hate speech including ethnic and racial profiling in their campaigns or during their campaigns,” he said.
He said citizens should have confidence in the governance institutions we have created for ourselves and therefore, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) must be given space and necessary cooperation and support to fulfil its mandate in a satisfactory manner.
“Election Monitors and observers who have come from afar or near to observe this election should ensure transparency and integrity of the elections as it is a noble and widely accepted role and practice in modern democracies, ” he said.
This Thursday, 12 August , Zambia goes to the polls to elect the next government for the next five years.
President Lungu is among the 16 presidential candidates vying for the Presidential seat.