FORMER president Rupiah Banda says Zambians have have gone through enough to know how to vote properly.
The 79-year-old who is undergoing cancer of colon treatment left Kambendela Hospital where he is admitted to obtain his voter’s card at Lima C Registration Centre in Lusaka’s Lilayi area yesterday.
Although Banda needed the aid of his support staff to walk, he was in a jovial mood and said he looked forward to voting and then enjoy the results after afterwards.
“Don’t be cheated, don’t be cheated. I think you have gone through enough to know how to vote properly and I have confidence in you and all the Zambians,” he said.
Asked which presidential candidate he would vote for, Banda responded; “Just like I won’t ask who you are going to vote for but I rely on all of you. I believe in all the Zambians.”
“I believe the Zambians are clever enough to know that and I have confidence in you and all the Zambians,” he said.
Banda, who was accompanied by his son Henry, administrative assistant Mikatazo Wakumelo and deputy administrative assistant Chibeza Mfuni, urged Zambians not to be led astray by people telling them all kinds of stories.
“You are experienced now. We have been independent since 1964 and I believe that the Zambian people are able to choose their leader properly,” he said.
Banda said although he was unwell, he left the hospital to come and register as voter because he understood the importance of choosing a right person to be president of a country.
“As you can see I am not very well. I am from the hospital right now but I came to signify the importance of what the Zambians are doing,” he said.
Banda commended citizens for “giving up their various responsibilities to come and register because it’s so important that on that important day we can express ourselves and choose the leaders of our choice”.
“Let me first remind you once again, it’s your choice,” he added.
Banda said after registering, he would go back to the hospital.
“I had to come because it’s so important to me personally as a former president because I know how important it is to have a proper president. The right person, the right president, somebody who is going to respect you people as their master. The Zambian people are not servants of any President, they are actually masters of those who are fortunate to become presidents like I was,” he said.
Banda said he was going through some tough time but that he was happy to be alive and register as a voter.
Banda, who was president from 2008 to 2011, urged Zambians to pray for him.