THE NDC says Rupiah Banda was a far much better president than the current one.
NDC national chairperson Richard Luonde says it would be unfair for Banda if anyone compared him to President Edgar Lungu.
Fr Luonde says if the two were to compete in an election, President Lungu would lose miserably.
“Comparing the presidency of Rupiah Banda and the presidency of Edgar Lungu, Rupiah Banda was definitely a better leader. We thought we had a bad president in Rupiah Banda until we got the worst in President Edgar Lungu. With all his weaknesses, Rupiah Banda had economic focus and is definitely better than Edgar Lungu,” he said in a reflection. “And if they were to compete for the presidency just the two of them on the 12th of August 2021, Rupiah Banda could win with a landslide. Rupiah Banda lost the 2011 election to Michael Chilufya Sata because he competed against a strong politician with a heart for the poor. Sata was genuinely development oriented, and not corrupt.”
Fr Luonde gave reasons he graded Banda higher than President Lungu.
“I say this because Rupiah’s presidency left the kwacha stronger than it is today. The cost of living was a hundredfold better than now. We were managing to have a cup of tea with bread. Cooking oil, sugar, mealie-meal and most essentials, including school fees were reasonably affordable,” he said. “University students were being paid their meal allowances; it was just conducive because people survived. Compare this to the conditions we are living in under President ECL, everything is just bad, bad, bad and bad! His presidency has brought more calamity and suffering. And to continue with his leadership after 12th August will just be disastrous for the poor Zambians.”
He said President Lungu should not expect the sympathy votes he got in 2015 and 2016.
Fr Luonde nevertheless wondered why people voted for President Lungu even when he told them that he had no vision.
“The 2015 and 2016 elections he won were a sympathy vote because we had lost a visionary leader in whom we had so much hope for a better Zambia. He openly told us that he had no vision and why we voted for him only hell knows,” said Fr Luonde. “Alas, this leader has put us in immense suffering and poverty. Rupiah Banda made sure that he ended the term of president Levy Mwanawasa in good standing, which according to me and many, he achieved. So, what makes President ECL think that he can win the 2021 August 12th elections with the mud he has led us in. He should know that we are not morons but people who see and think. We are suffering today because of his visionless leadership which he pronounced during his campaigns.”