Rupiah feels burden of losing polls has been lifted
Former President Rupiah Banda has told Boston University students in his inaugural lecture that he has gained notoriety for having lost the 2011 elections.
In his inaugural lecture made available to QFM News, Mr Banda told the students that he is grateful to former Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade for lifting his burden of losing the elections, following Mr Wade's defeat in last month's presidential elections by his former Prime Minister Macky Sall.
He said he is proud of the many things during his time as president of Zambia, one of which is the process of him handing over power to his successor President Michael Sata.
The former President stated that he is proud that his administration left with dignity, affording his successor the opportunity to succeed or fail based on his policies, not because of political traps laid by those he followed.
Mr Banda added that he also relinquished the MMD presidency because he believes that past presidents must give future leadership an opportunity to emerge.
He also talked about how proud he is with the achievements he scored during his presidency, stating that his government managed to grow the economy at over 7% per year, despite beginning in the wallows of the 2008 global financial crisis, making Zambia a unique star of Africa.
The former head of state told the students that political leaders have a responsibility to listen to their people, not their own ego.
He said the people of Zambia have basic needs to put food on the table, to have the opportunity to find work, and to be granted the dignity to be able to select and hold accountable their political leaders.
Mr Banda further stated that what he was most proud of during his presidency was less visible, which was his administration's steadfast refusal to allow the executive branch to encroach on other branches of government, to stand by the principles of democracy that had been damaged in the past.
He said this led to a spirited competitive environment, sometimes to the detriment of his administration, but fully within the boundaries of what was expected in a normal democracy.