Former president Rupiah Banda has paid glowing tribute to the founding leaders of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) for their sacrifice which led to the birth of democracy in Zambia.
Mr Banda has also urged MMD members to remain united and focused if the former ruling party is to bounce back to power.
The former president was speaking yesterday at an MMD end-of-year women’s choir competition held at MMD president Nevers Mumba’s residence in Kabulonga township.
At a function also attended by the first MMD national secretary and former republican vice-president Godfrey Miyanda, President Banda advised MMD members to recognise and accept the reality that they were no longer in power, which called for more sacrifice and doubling of their organisational capacity if they are to continue remaining relevant in Zambia’s political dispensation.
“Regardless of what other people say about our former presidents, we must never forget that they sacrificed so much for us to have democracy. We suffered so much under one-party rule. But these people fought so much. We must continue to fight,” President Banda said.
The former head of State also paid particular praise to General Miyanda for his sacrifice, explaining that he had tirelessly stood for Zambian people in their time of need and that the country valued his service.
Mr Banda advised MMD members to encourage one another and not to look for faults in each other, as all people make mistakes.
Yesterday’s event was also meant to honour all the former MMD presidents, of which President Banda was the third, after taking over from the late Levy Mwanawasa who had succeeded the first party president Frederick Chiluba.