The Patriotic Front plans to write to the Southern African Developing community SADC, the African Union and the United Nation on whether President Rupiah Banda is eligible to stand for president considering that there are allegations that he is not Zambian.
PF Secretary General Winter Kabimba revealed this at a media breifing Tuesday. Below is what he said word for word.
On 07th July 2011, the Patriotic Front wrote to the Law Association of Zambia regarding the issue of His Excellency President Rupiah Banda’s parentage and his eligibility as a candidate in the 2008 presidential by-election and indeed the 2011 elections now due on 20th September 2011.
We emphasised in our letter to LAZ that the eligibility of Mr. Rupiah Banda to contest as a presidential candidate is not a political issue but a constitutional one. It is, therefore, a matter of public interest.
In this regard we thought that LAZ would pursue this matter in order to satisfy the public that Mr. Rupiah Banda did qualify in 2008 to contest the presidential by-election and still qualifies to do so under the provisions of the current constitution. We have todate not received any response to our letter from LAZ
In 1996, former President Kaunda was disqualified to contest as presidential candidate for UNIP because one of his parents was not born in Zambia. In protest UNIP boycotted the 1996 elections, but this was the law then and it is still the law today in the absence of a new constitution.
As a constitutional democracy the eligibility of anyone to contest the presidential elections in our country is a fundamental question. There is a reason why our law-makers in their infinite wisdom decided that both parents of a presidential candidate must be born in Zambia.
I repeat that this is not a political question but a legal issue of fundamental importance. No candidate, therefore, should be allowed to circumvent this legal requirement in our constitution.
In the absence of a response to our letter from LAZ we have decided as a party to take up this matter.
We shall, therefore, be writing to SADC, the African Union and the UN on whether or not the MMD can proceed to field or sponsor Mr. Rupiah Banda as a presidential candidate in the 2011 elections before he satisfies the Zambian and these organisations that he qualifies to stand as a candidate.
We are in this regard putting MMD on notice that maybe it is time they started looking for an alternative candidate. As you all know ECZ has announced 07th August 2011 to 10th August 2011 as dates for presidential nominations.