Saturday, September 06, 2008

MMD adopts Rupiah

MMD adopts Rupiah
By Lambwe Kachali and Chibaula Silwamba
Saturday September 06, 2008 [04:00]

VICE-President Rupiah Banda yesterday called for unity in MMD and asked all unsuccessful candidates to support him in order to achieve victory in the forth-coming presidential by-election. And losing presidential aspirant Ng'andu Magande conceded defeated and pledged to campaign for Vice-President Banda. Vice-President Banda polled 43 votes while Magande polled 11.

Delivering an acceptance speech at Mulungushi International Conference Centre after being declared duly elected MMD candidate in the forth-coming presidential by-election, Vice-President Banda said MMD could not afford to lose the by-election.

The national executive committee (NEC) meeting took about six hours, from about 10:00 hours to 16:00 hours.

Vice-President Banda, who is also Acting President, said every Zambian was part of the government's programmes that should be completed and that citizens should avoid being complacent or leaving a fight, which required completion.

"I am greatly privileged and humbled to be making this address to you today. I very much regret the circumstances of my having to do so and I ask our late president Levy Patrick Mwanawasa who is now with the Lord to bless and guide us from this day forward.

I sincerely thank those who voted for me and forgiving me the opportunity of leading them and the party into the forth-coming presidential by-election. I will not let you down and I am sure, together we will deliver a victory for our party," Vice-President Banda said.

"I ask all unsuccessful candidates to join with me and those establishments to not only continue with the good work that we have carried out under our late president but to use the knowledge derived from him to move the MMD into the new and exciting era.

"MMD must win this presidential by-election; we cannot afford to lose it. We are all in the programme which must be completed.

Let us therefore avoid getting complacent or leaving a fight which we must succeed. We must win as we owe it to our late president to win and we owe it to the people of Zambia to win."

Vice-President Banda said he was determined to work with everyone towards creating a country where the government would be seen as a help and not a hindrance, in order to allow people to prosper with the fullness for their efforts.
He said living in an economic environment characterised by friendliness, people should work together and build a country where all would be treated equally, as doing so would promote continuation of the good works started by the departed president.

"For me, I want to declare publicly that I want to work with all my comrades in the party so that we can light the MMD and the whole country.

That is what our president always taught us - to be united and to learn to love one another," said Vice-President Banda.
And Magande, who is also finance and national planning minister, accepted the results and described the process as democratic.

"I accept the results. Zambia is a democracy and that is what democracy is all about," said Magande in an interview.

Asked if he would campaign for Vice-President Banda, Magande responded in the affirmative.

"Well, I am a member of parliament for Chilanga so I will campaign for my party in my constituency. I will campaign in my constituency, of course for him, yes," said Magande.
Magande said he was not sure if he would contest for the MMD presidency in 2011.

"You know I always said that 2011 is very far. So I have work to do between now and then," he said.

Asked if he was hopeful that he would win the MMD presidency if he contested in 2011, Magande said he would not say he could scoop the position.

"I wouldn't say I will scoop the position, I haven't even told you I will be campaigning for 2011," said Magande.

As Magande was leaving the hall, several party members patted him on the back in praise. And as Magande was being driven out of Mulungushi grounds, several MMD cadres lined up and applauded him for conceding defeat.

The cadres, who waved the MMD symbol, touched Magande's vehicle amid praise for him.

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