HAKAINDE Hichilema, like any other presidential candidate has selected Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba as his running mate and how he arrived at this choice is a matter I am ignorant about because I was not consulted, Canisius Banda has revealed.
And Dr Banda has announced that Zambians should not expect his level of involvement in the UPND campaigns to remain the same as it had been before because he was not on the ballot paper but that Mr Hichilema and Mr Mwamba would now be sold to the electorate as a package.
Dr Banda, the UPND vice-president for political affairs says he would not want to be compelled to make judgments about Mr Hichilema’s choice of a running mate in Mr Mwamba but that he would leave that role of judgment to the electorate on August 11th general elections.
Dr Banda said in an interview yesterday that as a loyal member of the UPND, he knew when to keep his opinion to himself but that he was not Mr Hichilema’s choice for a presidential running mate was both revealing and illustrative to his life-changing political career.
He explained that his own views about the qualities of a presidential running mate should include God fearing, respect for citizens (fellow man), be enlightened, altruistic, and humble and one suffused with the spirit of servant hood.
Dr Banda explained that a presidential running mate should not be deceptive; devoid of corruption and that should be a man or woman who places others first before self.
“Mr Hakainde Hichilema, just like other presidential candidates, has selected his running mate. This is his choice. How he arrived at his choice is a matter I am ignorant about even today.
I remain not privy to the factors behind his selection and neither was I consulted. I keep my peace cognisant that the selection was his prerogative. He is the president and it is his mate. I should not be compelled to make judgments about his choice because that is not my role. It is the role of the electorate, the citizens,” Dr Banda said.
And Dr Banda said it would be callous, naïve and wrong for anyone to expect him to get involved in the UPND campaigns at the level he had engaged before because he feared he would be subtracting from what Mr Hichilema and Mr Mwamba represented.
He said there were limits to what he would personally give to the UPND because his reservoir of value was not inexhaustible.
Dr Banda explained that he had given his loyalty, passion, consistence and diligence to Mr Hichilema, the UPND and through the party to Zambians and it was therefore important that Mr Hichilema and Mr Mwamba should take prominence without his visibility disturbing or stifling the campaigns.
“To expect my level of involvement in the campaign to remain as before, as in the past years – very visible and loud – is callous, naive and wrong.
Callous because I am not a machine. I am a human being, only flesh and blood. I have feelings and I need to adapt to the changed paradigm. To claim that I have not been adversely affected would be a lie.
“Naive because I have given my all loyally, passionately, consistently and diligently to Hakainde Hichilema, the UPND and, through the UPND, to my country for the years I have been in this party at great personal risk. There are limits to what one can give. Our reservoirs of value are not inexhaustible.”
“And wrong because I am not on the ballot. It is Hakainde Hichilema and his running mate that must now be sold as a package to the Zambian people.
It is these two that must now deliberately take prominence. Too much visibility on my part could be disturbing and stifling. It could actually subtract from what these two represent,” Dr Banda said.
He stated that to be a subject of talk, debate and speculation when he was the one who had been left out of the presidential running mate was curious but said he wished Mr Hichilema and Mr Mwamba well in their campaigns.
ZAMBIA DAILY NATION