Saturday, June 18, 2011

Kunda defends Rupiah over parentage controversy

Kunda defends Rupiah over parentage controversy
By Ernest Chanda
Sat 18 June 2011, 04:01 CAT

VICE-PRESIDENT George Kunda (right) has defended President Rupiah Banda’s decision to stand for presidency despite the controversy surrounding his parentage as raised by Milton Phiri last month.

In his letter to Chief Justice Sakala, Phiri, who is former Zambia’s high commissioner to Malawi said President Banda should not have stood for presidency in 2008 because his father hailed from Malawi.

Vice-President Kunda was responding to a question during the Vice-President’s question time from Luena member of parliament Charles Milupi who wanted to know why the Vice-President had not clarified in the House once and for all the ongoing debate surrounding the nationality of President Banda’s father.

“His Excellency the President of this country Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda qualifies to stand as a candidate for office of president. He is a Zambian and both his parents are Zambians by birth or dissent; and he has done very well for this country,” Vice-President Kunda said.

Asked by Mpika Central member of parliament Mwansa Kapeya why the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation is operating without a board after dissolution of the previous one in December 2010, Vice-President Kunda said there was management running the national broadcaster efficiently for now.

He said management was providing good programmes like Stand Up for Zambia and that there would be a new board soon.

When asked by Monze member of parliament Jack Mwiimbu the way forward concerning numerous anomalies in the voters register as discovered during the just-ended verification exercise, Vice-President Kunda said the essence of the exercise was to discover anomalies and rectify them.

And education deputy minister Dr Boniface Kawimbe said the government would not accept donor aid if it was meant to sacrifice what the people of Zambia believed in.

Dr Kawimbe was responding to a question from Munali member of parliament Mumbi Phiri who wanted to know if the government had other sources of funding for the education sector at the time it told donors to pack up their bags and go.

“We will not sacrifice what we stand for as a country. We will not accept aid if it is in conflict with what we believe in,” said Dr Kawimbe.

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