FORMER President Rupiah Banda has been described as a trendsetter after a peaceful transition of power to the opposition Patriotic Front when he lost elections in 2011.
The International Institute of Democracy and Conflict Resolution (IIDCR) president Tresford Chomba said this when he announced in a letter, former President Banda’s nomination with two other former African presidents Dr Joyce Banda of Malawi and Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan respectively for their exemplary handover of power after losing their presidency to the opposition.
Mr Chomba said the three former heads of state have been nominated for the Award of African Pillars of Democracy Prize following their expression of true democrats in African politics for giving up power after conceding defeat to the opposition after elections.
“It is not easy to hand over power especially to the opposition party considering the advantages and sweetness of power, but you with your counterparts did just that to promote unity, peace and smooth transition for the love of the nation and the fear of God,” he said.
IIDCR said president Banda was among few leaders in Africa and beyond who exhibited the trends of a true democrat and had love for his country in order to avoid anarchy and wars that engulfed other states due to selfish dictators who wanted to cling to power even after an election loss.
Mr Chomba said the institute through its partners have recognized the three former presidents and would award them at a ceremony set for July 2015 to be hosted by South Africa as part of the Peace and Democratic Building forum in Africa.
“Further, we are creating a platform and forum for such leaders like you to be part of the Peace and Democratic Building on the continent. “May God richly bless you with long life and we pray that this legacy of smooth transition of power must be applied worldwide since as Africa we showed the world that we are true democrats,” he said.