The U.S. Ambassador to Zambia Mark Storella says Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) chairperson Ireen Mambilima resisted any efforts by the donor community to influence the outcome of the September 2011 general elections.
Speaking to university students at the American Embassy yesterday, Storella said former president Rupiah Banda did a good thing to accept defeat.
He was responding to the question of whether the American government played a role in making Banda concede defeat to President Michal Sata.
“There are so many rumours like that one suggesting that we had to convince President Banda to step down, I think that the Justice Mambilima is a national hero to me. She was tough, tough, tough … and she set down rules about how things would go and she would not listen to anybody about breaking the rules. Not to the political parties and not even the United Nations,” he said.
He said Zambians should look to themselves instead of others as a reason for their successes.
“You have an Electoral Commission that has a strong ability to hold elections. But let’s face it, every single time is a challenge,” Ambassador Storella said.
Exclusive to Zambia Reports