UPND vice president for political affairs Canisius Banda has dismissed speculation that he was offered the Kasenengwa parliamentary seat in the Eastern Province but maintained he qualifies to be adopted as Hakainde Hichilema’s running mate as he joined the party when it was not fashionable to do so.
He said the Kasenengwa seat was given to another UPND member who equally qualified for adoption.
On his desire to be considered for running mate, Dr Banda said he joined the opposition party many years ago when it was not easy for anyone to join it because of the tag of tribalism.
‘‘Among the many reasons that qualify me for this slot include something I did many years ago which was to join the UPND, a party which was embattled with the tag of tribalism at the time, and which wasn’t as popular as it is today, ‘’ the vice president said.
He also said despite some political parties like the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) offering him ministerial positions he turned them down and continued with UPND.
Dr Banda said it was a miracle that the people that were trying to offer him such positions in the ruling party were now being recruited to the opposition UPND.
‘’And I did this from another opposition party in the face of offers of a ministerial position from the ruling party. I turned those offers down. And the people that were offering me those positions, wanted to recruit me to the PF; we have now recruited them to the UPND. Isn’t that a miracle?” he said
Dr Banda said he saw talent for national use in the party president Hakainde Hichilema 10 years ago and that he told him that he was destined to rule Zambia and that he would become president in 2011.
Dr Banda said that he also told Mr Hichilema that it would be entirely his fault if he did not govern in 2011.
‘’I saw talent for national use in Hichilema 10 years ago and I told him then that it was in his destiny to lead Zambia, and that he will become republican president after 2011 but that if he never became at all, it would entirely be his fault, ‘’ he said.
The party vice president however said that the choice of the running mate was a prerogative of the party president as it was entirely his judgment.
He also explained that he had never said he was the best person to be picked for the position but that he only qualified.