FORMER president Rupiah Banda has launched his January presidential campaign with a call on Zambians to reject the Patriotic Front (PF)’s lies of more money and more employment by voting for him so that he would correct the economic and political wrongs the ruling party has committed against the country.
Mr Banda said in his three years as republican president, his achievements in the economic infrastructure development were unprecedented but that he was saddened that his efforts had been washed away by greed, corruption, nepotism and violence perpetrated by the ruling party.
Addressing hundreds of his supporters in Lusaka’s Mtendere yesterday, president Banda said Zambia had been isolated by the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and the international community because of the poor diplomatic relations the PF leadership had created.
He said the diplomatic relations with other countries both in the region and other parts of the world had been fractured and that the country needed a man of his calibre to restore the country’s image.
Mr Banda said the PF formed Government on a menu of lies and that time had caught up with the ruling party as Zambians were angry and disappointed that they were taken for granted and had not gone back to Zambians to apologise for their failures.
President Banda said PF had brought a lot of poverty in the last three years they had been in power and that Zambians should not allow them to continue presiding over the affairs of the country.
He said as former president of the country, he had vast experience and that by voting for him would be voting for liberation from poverty, disease, lawlessness, impunity and arrogance, the vices associated with the PF and its leadership.
“The PF formed government because Zambians gave them the privilege to govern because they trusted them. But the PF and its leadership has betrayed the trust of the citizens and they do not deserve to continue presiding over the affairs of the country. I have come back to active politics to correct the economic and political wrongs the PF has committed against Zambians.
“When I was leaving the presidency, the price of mealie meal was K35 and bus fares were affordable. Within three years of the PF in government, all the gains Zambia made under president Chiluba, president Mwanawasa and myself have been eroded and we have a chance to correct the mistake we made in 2011 by voting for the PF,” Mr Banda said.
Mr Banda said the same Zambians that voted out the MMD in 2011 would vote back the former ruling party into power because the ruling party had completely failed to meet any of its mega promises in made while in the opposition.
He said he was a tested leader and that Zambians did not have time for experiments in addressing the many economic and social challenges and should therefore consider his candidature for the transitional period.
Mr Banda also condemned the tribalism and nepotism in the PF Government revealing that most of the people in Government positions and in missions abroad were members of the ‘‘big family tree.’’
He said he would ensure that the family tree in Government and diplomatic positions was destroyed because as president of all Zambians, he would want to see that every region was represented in his transition government.
Mr Banda further told his cheering supports that the PF had increased the country’s foreign debt to more than US700 million while the more than US2.8 million foreign reserves had been plundered by the ruling party.
“The economic infrastructure the PF has been boasting about was our initiative in the MMD and they have failed to effectively implement it because they did not understand what they inherited. Vote for me again because you know my record and if the PF were clever, they should have been consulting me how we managed to build our economy even during the global economic meltdown,” Mr Banda said