Zambia’s fourth President Rupiah Bwezani Banda, has been requested by Kenya’s Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to meet the leaders of the two main political parties in the March 4 Presidential and Parliamentary elections so as to help them realise the importance of putting their nation’s interest first.
IEBC vice-chairperson Lilian Zafa made the appeal last night at a dinner hosted in President Banda’s honour at Hotel Intercontinental in Nairobi.
Ms Zafa said it would be important for Kenya’s rival parties to listen to President Banda freely talk about his own electoral defeat in the 2011 Presidential elections and how he dealt with the choice between self preservation and national interest.
“President Banda, you have set a very high standard for Africa. We appreciate you very much. You are now stress-free as a true and respected elder statesman. For you, national interest took precedence.
“We shall request that you find time to meet the leaders of our political parties here in Kenya so that they may learn something from your experience,” said Mrs Zafa at the dinner that was attended by diplomats accredited to Kenya, high court judges, lecturers from the Kenyatta University School of Law and government officials.
Speaking at the same function, chairman of the Judiciary Working Committee on Electoral Preparations, Justice David Maraga, said the Kenyan people were honoured to have President Banda in their midst.
And the former Zambian head of State commended the Kenyan people for the measures they were putting in place to prepare for the elections and avoid the violence that characterized the 2007 elections.
President Banda is in Kenya to attend a conference dubbed ‘Elections March 2013: Imminent debates in the event of a Presidential run-off’ and organised by the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa in partnership with the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission, the Kenyan Judiciary and the Kenyatta University School of Law.