FORMER president Rupiah Banda has revealed that a decision by President Michael Sata to enable him travel to South Africa for medical treatment was vigorously rejected by members of the cartel who refused to release his passport.
He said it was only through the steadfast support of then Minister of Home Affairs, Edgar Lungu that the passport was released.
Mr Banda, who was speaking at a campaign rally in Katete, said he decided to support Mr Lungu’s presidential ambitious because he stood by him when the powerful cartel did not want his passport released.
“When I asked President Michael Sata to be allowed to travel to South Africa for treatment, those who were holding my passport refused, but Mr Lungu stood by the head of State that I travel,” he said..
At a Chipata rally, Mr Banda again explained that his support Mr Lungu also came after wide consultations on how best to maintain peace and unity with the high tension that characterised the country in the past few months.
Mr Banda said the MMD have enough experience in politics to build national unity in the face of high tensions and pockets of violence that rocked the country.
“Before we arrived at this decision as MMD, we were in discussions with all the political parties and other stakeholders over the security situation in the country.
“Others refused to join forces with us to find a peaceful solution to the tension in the country.
“And this is a pact that that has never happened before in Zambia, and it will last a test of time,” President Banda said.
He explained that as a party they had discussed several issues with the PF including finding a solution to reducing the high cost of living, the high fuel prices and mealie meal prices.
“We have talked about the high cost of living in the country, the high fuel prices and also the peace and unity among the Zambian people,” he said. And Mr Banda has lashed out at his son, Andrew’s assertions that have continuously appeared in the media saying that the politicians his son has associated himself with would dump him and he would have no one to run to.
“The MMD youths are infuriated with my son’s actions and have time and time again asked me to allow them to teach him a lesson, but that is my son, I know how best to handle him.
“He (Andrew) goes to radio to say that I, his father is mad, ninamubala bwanji nga ndine silu (how did I father him if I am mad)? All these politicians giving you money will not be there to support you when you feel hungry,” he said.
Mr Banda also disclosed the support of other political parties including All People’s Congress party Nason Msoni, Zambia Direct Democracy Movement (ZDDM) Edwin Sakala and Zambia Development Conference (ZADECO) president Langton Sichone who also attended the rally and Alliance for Better Zambia Father Frank Bwalya.
Mr Banda said MMD would not be shaken by those with ill intensions to destroy the party, but was strong rooted among those interested to build it.
He affirmed his support for the PF candidate, saying that he did not have political enemies despite what could have taken place in his active political career, which was in the past.
The rally was attended by senior MMD officials including former secretary general Muhabi Lungu, national women’s chairperson Faustina Sinyangwe among others.