Monday, December 17, 2012

Leaders should accept electoral defeat - Rupiah

Leaders should accept electoral defeat - Rupiah
By Mukosha Funga
Mon 17 Dec. 2012, 14:00 CAT

RUPIAH Banda says some of his compatriots called him a coward for accepting defeat after he lost elections in 2011. And the PF says the award conferred on Banda in Kenya was a way of playing on Africans' minds by the West.

Speaking in Kenya, where he received a prize for African democracy, former president Banda said leaders should accept defeat.

"I call upon my fellow Africans to know that there can only be one winner in an election and the rest run the risk of losing. Even after losing elections, you must learn to love one another and live your life as if you were the winner," he said.

He urged African leaders to do nothing that would endanger the lives of their people.

"After accepting defeat, some of my compatriots called me a coward. How could I not accept the results of the elections organised by me as head of state? I was responsible for whatever could happen to the Zambian people," he said.

However, Banda's close associates had in the past disclosed that Banda did not want to leave the presidency and had to be convinced by the intelligence and the diplomatic community for him to concede defeat.

Banda wept as he bid farewell to staff at State House after losing elections.

Later, during a reception at Sovereign Suites in Limuru on Friday evening, Banda called on Africans to embrace home-grown initiatives that were aimed at empowering fellow Africans.

"He noted that nearly all major international organisations had had their genesis outside Africa, the very reason why Africans needed to support the initiative of the Millennium Excellence Foundation, the organisers of Africa's most prestigious international awards," said Banda.

And Kenyan Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka called on leaders to emulate Banda's commitment to "respecting the will of the people".

According to a press release by Banda's deputy administrative assistant Kennedy Limwanya, Banda was awarded at the 2012 Lifetime Africa Achievement prize-giving ceremony held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi.

Vice-President Musyoka urged African leaders to emulate Banda.
"As Africans, we are proud of you president Banda. You were commander-in-chief in your country and you could have easily disputed the results of the elections. I wish many African leaders could listen to you and realise that even after losing elections, you can be great," said Vice-President Musyoka.

Meanwhile, former United Nations under-secretary general Abdoulie Janneh described Banda as a "political model in Africa" and urged other leaders on the continent to learn to accept the will of the people.

Janneh, who is also executive director at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, said it was time African leaders began providing "leadership that inspired their people", stressing that "leadership was the continent's major malaise".

Banda arrived in the country yesterday but remained mute over his recognition.
And PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba said: "Mr. Rupiah Banda did not do us any favour by conceding defeat. It is high time Africans woke up from this kind of mind massaging by Western powers."

Kabimba wondered why Banda was conferred with an award of democracy, when the same Western countries had documentation to show that the Banda administration was corrupt.
He said if such an award was to be conferred on him, he would reject it.

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