No doubt Dr Canisius Banda possesses a better than average mind. Dr Banda is a literary genius. Dr Banda is a born thinker. Dr Banda is humane at heart. Dr Banda has a future in this country’s leadership.
But does everyone understand Banda? Just in case we have lost some people here the Dr Banda in frame here is the pilgrim otherwise more politically recognizable from his time as opposition United Party for National Development. Dr Banda did not just become as for years he had been building his profile. Dr Banda was president of the Resident Doctors Association (RDA).
His record there is distinguished and even paid a heavy price under Dr Frederick Chiluba during the famous strike by junior doctors. He was later on to rub our public conscious as Ministry of Health spokesperson where he never hid his desire for public service. With that he stepped out of his civil service box to contest the Mandevu parliamentary seat in 2006 under the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD).
Dr Banda was a good candidate and more so as he had been born and bred in Mandevu with his life story resonating very well with the ordinary residents of the densely populated Mandevu. But then Dr Banda has never really been one made for politics. His candidature in Mandevu is symptomatic of his high levels of political naivety that he either deliberately over looks or strong headedly tries to challenge.
The political fundamentals were never ever going to favour an MMD candidacy in 2006. The PF boat was sailing and perhaps more viciously in Mandevu Constituency but Dr Banda ignored that and put up his name for candidacy. He believed himself some kind of personality that could defy logic but then he would not be the bearded pilgrim we know him to be if he never dared to challenge logic.
Fast forward to his UPND days and the manner he fell out with his once upon a time cheer leaders. Despite everything around him plainly suggesting that he was never going to be the running mate. The pilgrim. Ever so trusting in humanity only learnt of his being isolated outside the nomination centre and with that the pilgrim was gone.
Did the good bearded Doc really have a chance of being nominated ahead of the more politically bloodied Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM)? Was his polished public image and civil type of politics what the UPND were looking to cure their well known political frailties? What then after all that confusion for the pilgrim? The pilgrim has become more rabid in his attacks of his former allies in UPND than crafting his own identity.
Credit to the pilgrim he has still retained his dignity.
But what then for the pilgrim? Has all his investment in a political contribution to mother Zambia now crushingly withered?