FORMER republican president Rupiah Banda says he is optimistic that he will scoop the forthcoming presidential by-elections once the MMD adopts him as party candidate.
Mr Banda, who arrived at MMD secretariat to a thunderous welcome at 11:00 hrs, said the support he was getting from MMD national executive committee (NEC) members and members of Parliament (MPs) showed that the country was in dire need of his leadership.
Addressing cheering and jubilant supporters yesterday at MMD headquarters in Kabulonga, the former president said it was in the best interest of the party to endorse him as presidential candidate knowing that he will win the elections.
Mr Banda went to the secretariat to meet MMD president Nevers Mumba as agreed during the NEC meeting on Sunday evening so that they could agree on which of the two men would contest the presidential election.
Meanwhile, Dr Mumba yesterday refused to meet Mr Banda at the MMD secretariat and demanded that the two find a neutral ground where Mr Banda’s supporters would not be present.
After waiting for three hours, Mr Banda, some MMD officials and Lusaka lawyers Sakwiba Sikota and Makebi Zulu left the secretariat for an unknown place to meet Dr Mumba.
On Sunday, out of 23 MMD members of Parliament, 20 voted to field Mr Banda as presidential candidate while two voted for Dr Mumba with one abstaining.
MMD national secretary Muhabi Lungu has refuted reports that Dr Mumba was adopted by the NEC on Sunday evening as candidate for the presidential by-election.
Meanwhile, Patriotic Front (PF) Kasama Central Member of Parliament Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba has announced his bid to contest the position of party president following the demise of President Michael Sata.
Mr. Mwamba said he was ready to take over the PF leadership in readiness for the Presidential by-election.
He said he was a humble servant of God whose success in business was as a result of hard work, dedication and commitment.
Mr Mwamba said he had the same dream for Zambia if elected president of the PF and subsequently contest the Presidential by-election which he was hopeful of winning. He said the desire to contest for the party’s top position was derived from the love he had towards uplifting the living standards of the many poor Zambians.
Mr. Mwamba said he was grateful that the Almighty God had shown him a humble beginning in life which was bearing fruits now.