FORMER President Rupiah Banda has formally announced his coming back into active politics and launched his campaign for the presidential election on the MMD ticket.
However, MMD president Nevers Mumba described the announcement by Mr Banda that he will contest the republican presidency on the MMD ticket as nothing but wishful thinking.
And Mr Banda has said denying him his retirement benefits as former Republican President after this development would be tantamount to robbery.
Mr Banda said that he could no longer ignore calls by the people when the country is undergoing several economic problems.
He was speaking at a press briefing at the MMD secretariat in Lusaka yesterday.
“Now, should I stand and watch without taking any action when there are a lot of things that are going in the wrong direction or take action?” he asked.
Mr Banda, who arrived in a private Toyota Land cruiser, said Zambians need a government which should have been tested before unlike engaging one which will start experimenting.
He said that the country needs a leader who would easily unite the people of Zambia.
Mr Banda was flanked by some MMD Members of Parliament (MPs) who included Michael Kaingu (Mwandi), Kenneth Chipungu (Rufunsa), Kapembwa Simbao (Senga Hill) and MMD Secretary General Muhabi Lungu.
Mr Banda assured that he would give Zambians a new constitution, recognise the authority of traditional counsellors in choosing their chiefs and also ensure that small-scale farmers are paid on time.
On his benefits, Mr Banda said he has worked in various government portfolios in the country and not giving him his retirement benefits will be robbery.
Mr Banda said he does not feel like a statesman despite having been republican president because he has been continuously attending court sessions on charges against him since he left office in 2011.
Dr Mumba said Mr Banda cannot contest the presidency on the MMd ticket because he was nominated by an illegally constituted National Executive Committee (NEC) whose decision to suspend him as party president has been halted by the courts of law.
He said as MMD president, he will lead the party as its candidate in the forthcoming presidential election and that Mr Banda should find another party which has no eligible sitting president if he wants to contest the presidency.
“Let me take this opportunity to inform all our party structures and members that there are no changes in office bearers at provincial, district, constituency, ward and branch levels. Our members should not be used to foster support for Mr Banda’s campaign,” Dr Mumba said.
“Meanwhile, I as president will lead the top leadership of our party this Saturday to kick off our national campaign in my home district of Chinsali,” he said.
When asked about the status of the benefits of former republican President Mr Banda considering that he had bounced back into active politics, Secretary to the Cabinet Roland Msiska said this was a legal matter and referred all queries to Attorney General Musa Mwenye, who is government’s legal advisor, reports Henry Sinyangwe.
But Mr Mwenye said he would comment at an appropriate time.
Zambia Daily Mail