Opinion

Choking With Envy Over Rupiah Banda’s Legacy

Patriotic Front chief executive Wynter Kabimba should be choking with immeasurable envy each time Zambian fourth Republican president Rupiah Banda’s democratic leadership is reflected on the international.

The international community has flattered Rupiah with credible and admirable recognitions following his peaceful handover of power when he lost the presidential election to incumbent Michael Sata in September 2011.

What Kabimba and the PF propaganda wing The Post are unashamedly failing to come to terms with is what a hero and respectable status Rupiah has curved for himself, the MMD and Zambia at large, particularly at international level.

Just after leaving office, Rupiah was accorded great respect as a statesman for conceding defeat after Zambians voted him and the MMD out of office. Kabimba and his propaganda wing attempted to fabricate stories that the former head of state was forced to leave office but to no success.

Neither the majority of Zambians nor the international committee have paid an iota of attention to the PF falsehoods and continue to hold Rupiah in high esteem.

As if to cast more shame on them, Rupiah received an honorary invitation to be resident lecturer at the respected Boston University in the United States of America, all for his legacy as a true democrat during his tenure as Zambian leader.

Further the Jimmy Carter Foundation invited Rupiah to co-lead an election monitoring team to the Democratic Republic of Congo and was recently in Lesotho for the same assignment.

Such responsibilities are not assigned anyhow to an ex-leader of a particular country but are offered to respected figures that have demonstrated unquestionable qualities of democracy.

And now Rupiah will rub shoulders with such eminent world leaders as 42nd United States president Bill Clinton, former United Nations secretary general Koffi Annan, another respected former US president Jimmy Carter, Sammy Kuffour, Festus Mogae, and former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev among other distinguished leaders following admission to the prestigious Clud de Madrid.

This recognition Rupiah is getting gives Kabimba and PF purveyors of fabricated stories sleepless nights as displayed in their panicky reactions.

Unlike FODEP, who through its executive director MacDonald Chipenzi, urges Zambians to be proud of Rupiah’s recognition they are displeased and looking for ways to downplay or dishonour the former head of state.

“There is no doubt in anybody’s mind that Rupiah Banda’s government was full of corruption. The Western countries know about this and it is therefore difficult for anyone to understand how Mr Banda could have the honour of wining and dining with distinguished former leaders who are part of this organisation,” Kabimba is quoted by the PF media outlet The Post.

Kabimba, an apparent senior lawyer, wants to assume the role of prosecutor, jury and judge by convicting Rupiah of corruption crimes he has neither committed, been charged nor found guilt of through their media wing.

“How can such a man be baptised with the honour of democracy? This honour comes as a shock to our people and it is difficult to really understand the motive of these people who honour,” Kabimba, showing extreme bitterness and anger, is further quoted by The Post.

Yes, Kabimba is shocked but you wonder which other people he is representing that are in his state, except of course The Post, that would deny Rupiah deserving honour.

Kabimba is probably confirming that biblical proclamation when a prophet is not honoured in his own home country but the PF Secretary General is forcing Zambians too, to detest the overwhelming recognition Rupiah is enjoying.

In an attempt to further tarnish Rupiah’s standing, The Post in their desperation went to an extent of publishing a false lead story in their edition of June 12 suggesting the former head of state had lost US $36, 000 in his home.

Without observing the basic principles of journalism, they further published a captioned picture suggesting Rupiah was living a lavish lifestyle at his own house in a plush suburb in Lusaka when in fact not.

Those falsehoods in a fabricated story aimed to tarnish Rupiah’s image and satisfy their agenda as the case was with second Republican president Frederick Chiliba were met with an adequate reaction.
Rupiah’s office promptly responded to the allegedly stolen US $36, 000 put the record straight saying; “

“We wish to categorically state that no such kind of money has ever gone missing from the President’s New Kasama house in recent times. The story in The Post newspaper is a total fabrication by the authors. President Banda has also never reported or sent any agent to any police station to report any such kind of missing money. In any case, President Banda’s house is guarded by State security who should have been the first ones to be informed if any money had [gone] missing at the residence,” the former head of state’s office states.

Expectedly, these purveyors of falsehood are not resting but looking for anything to discredit Rupiah but the smart international community is seeing beyond their selfish agenda.

Unfortunately for them, there is a clear distinction between Rupiah Banda’s public conduct compared to their dummy President Michael Sata who was once detained in South Africa for a money laundering related offence when he failed to explain the source of US$ 27, 000 cash that was in his possession and was subsequently confiscated and never given back to him.

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