Former President of Zambia Rupiah Banda departed this morning for Sierra Leone to lead the Carter Foundation international election observer mission for the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections.
President Banda says he is looking forward to his role in the November 17 elections and has described the assignment as challenging.
“It’s a difficult assignment. Sierra Leone is a country that has passed through war. I hope and believe that everyone is anxious to vote in order to close that chapter of the war and for all the people of Sierra Leone to move forward in unity,” said President Banda ahead of his trip to the West African country.
This will be the third elections President Banda will be observing since leaving office in September last year.
He was leader of the Carter Foundation election observer mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s presidential and legislative elections last year and in May this year led an observer mission from the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa during the national assembly elections in the royal kingdom of Lesotho.
The Commonwealth had also asked the former Zambian president to lead the observer mission to next month’s presidential elections in Ghana but he excused himself as the polls were coming around the same time as the Sierra Leone assignment.
Earlier, the African Union requested President Banda to observe the parliamentary elections in Libya but, due to prior engagements, he could not go.
The former head of State has been accompanied by his administrative assistant Mikatazo Wakumelo.