Power and Politics

Zambians remember late President Banda on second memorial service, describe him as icon


The second memorial service of Zambia’s fourth President, Rupiah Banda, was held on Monday at the Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka.

Both current and former Cabinet Ministers gathered at the Cathedral to remember late President Banda whom they described as an icon of democracy.

Minister of Water Development and Sanitation, Mike Mposha, remembered Banda as someone who played a pivotal role in ensuring that democracy remained thriving during his presidency.

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“I think you saw after the elections, the 2021 elections that he was the anchor of several discussions to ensure that Zambia maintains its tradition as a peaceful country,” Mposha stated.

He said Banda also ensured that there was peaceful exchange of power during the transition period.

Former Msanzala Member of Parliament, Peter Daka, said Banda was a humble leader who sought to know the truth at any given time.

“Presidents all the time are the last people to know the truth. Presidents are surrounded by certain people who don’t want to tell the president the truth,” Daka said.

He said Banda wanted to know the challenges that his Ministers were facing at all times.

“We miss the man who was larger than an ordinary person,” Daka said.

He said Banda did not let his presidency hinder him from showing kindness to people, adding that sometimes he would wave at people he recognised even in his presidential escort vehicle, he would have a window open to express it.

“He was a very friendly president and it’s important that we remember him, we celebrate his life,” he stated.

The former Minister of Agriculture who served under Banda’s leadership called on all members of the public to help the government address the drought crisis.

“This situation that we are going through, we should not blame the government. We should put our heads together to find solutions,” he said.

Daka encouraged farmers to consider growing drought resistant crops such as finger millet, sorghum or wheat.

“Let’s adopt other methods of growing weather resistant crops,” he said.

The former Head of State died on March 11, 2022 at the age of 85.

Banda served as Zambia’s President from 2008 to 2011.

He held various diplomatic positions including that of Minister of Foreign Affairs under first President Kenneth Kaunda.

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