Zambian Ex-President Banda on his 2011 Election Defeat

Former Zambian President Rupiah Banda whose MMD government lost to incumbent President Michael Sata's Patriotic Front (PF) in the 2011 elections has stated that he did not contest the results because he did not want the country to go to war which his opponents were seemingly ready for.

Zambian President Rupiah Banda. Photo released by Antonio Cruz/ABr under Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.5)

A YouTube video recently surfaced of an interview with Afrik Production TV during his stint at the Boston University in the United States last year. In the interview Mr Banda said:

[…] From the very beginning, it was very clear that I preached acceptance of the results of the elections. Of course, I must say that perhaps I was almost sure that I would win […] It (the result) was very close I could have contested but, you know, the atmosphere was already very poisoned in the country. My opponent, the one who won the election, had already publicly stated that if they don't win, they are going to go to war and started sharpening knives in the streets, and things start that way. I did not want to be the one to be blamed for shedding the blood of the Zambian people.

One reaction to the video by katebebe1, reads:

Rupiah, had you been this focused and thoughtful in your public appearances, you would have been easily re-elected. But you allowed the sycophancy of your lieutenants define your public image. I blame your handlers as much as I blame you.

Mr Banda peacefully handed over office to the then newly elected President Sata a couple of days after the September 20, 2011 elections and has since been engaged in international assignments including a brief residency at Boston University in the United States where the above interview was conducted.

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