Monday, 22 September 2008
UNIP BACKS RUPIAH
UNIP president Tilyenji Kaunda stressing a point when he addressed journalists in Lusaka yesterday.
Acting President Rupiah Banda has continued to receive support for the Presidency with the latest backing coming from UNIP and traditional leaders in northern Zambia.
Opposition United National Independence Party (UNIP) president Tilyenji Kaunda has announced that the former ruling party would not field a candidate during the Otober 30, 2008 Presidential elections.
But he said UNIP would participate in the three parliamentary by-elections that will take place in Ndola central, Nkachibiya and Mwansabombwe on October 30.
"We shall not participate in the Presidential by-election and in this respect, we endorse the candidature of Honourable Rupiah Banda as a Presidential candidate to allow the MMD finish their mandate up to 2011," he said.
Mr Kaunda said UNIP would support the candidature of MMD's Rupiah Banda (RB) because he was closer to UNIP.
"We back Mr Banda out of principal," he said.
He said among the three participating political parties, UNIP decided to support RB because of his past membership with UNIP.
Of late, there have been statements that RB was still a member of UNIP, but Mr Banda has stated that his relationship with UNIP ended in 2003 when he joined the ruling MMD.
"Mr Banda has history with UNIP and therefore, we though we should support his candidature because his policies would be similar to those of our party.
"We are supporting Mr Banda as an individual and not this sponsoring party," Mr Kaunda said.
During a media briefing at the party Headquarters in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Kaunda said Rupiah Banda was experienced enough to lead Zambia.
And the chiefs in Mpika who were represented by senior chief Kopa said Mr Banda had shown good qualities of leadership.
He said seven Bisa chiefs, three sub-chiefs and 75 headmen would support Mr Banda's candidature.