Former President Rupiah Banda will this Friday leave for Kenya to lead a 50-person Carter Centre international observer mission for next week’s presidential and parliamentary elections in that country set for 4th March 2013.
President Rupiah Bwezani Banda has expressed confidence that the Kenyan people have made adequate preparations to guarantee the holding of peaceful and credible elections that all Africans can be proud of.
Mr Banda says the Kenyan elections were important not only because of the spectre of violence that the 2007 polls left but also that they would be Africa’s first in the year 2013.
“It will be important that the Kenyan elections are seen to be credible, transparent and democratic in every respect. That way, all other elections on the continent can follow the same path,” President Banda said.
He cited among other factors, the interventions that were put in place by the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) Kenya chapter, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, the Kenyatta University School of Law and the Kenyan Judiciary Working Committee on Election Preparations.
The former President will travel to Kenya at the invitation of former United States President and Carter Centre chairman Jimmy Carter who requested him to, once again, lead a Carter Centre election observation team to yet another African election.
President Carter is hopeful that the former Zambian leader’s “experience, knowledge and political leadership would be invaluable to the mission”.
President Banda has previously headed the Carter Centre missions to presidential and parliamentary elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone. He has also overseen National Assembly elections in the Royal Kingdom of Lesotho under the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa.
He will be accompanied to Kenya by his administrative assistants Mikatazo Wakumelo and Kennedy Limwanya.