Verbatim: What president of all Zambians RB said as he left MMD

Verbatim: What president of all Zambians RB said as he left MMD

 

 

FAREWELL SPEECH

BY HIS EXCELLENCY RUPIAH BWEZANI BANDA,

OUTGOING PRESIDENT OF THE MOVEMENT FOR MULTIPARTY DEMOCRACY (MMD) 

ON 15TH MARCH, 2012

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA

 

MEMBERS OF THE PRESS;

DEAR COLLEAGUES;

GOOD MORNING.

AS YOU HAVE ALREADY HEARD, I WISH TO OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCE TO THE NATION, THROUGH YOU MEMBERS OF THE PRESS, THAT I HAVE TODAY, THURSDAY, 14TH MARCH, 2012, STEPPED DOWN AS PRESIDENT OF OUR GREAT PARTY, THE MOVEMENT FOR MULTIPARTY DEMOCRACY (MMD).

I HAVE INFORMED MY COLLEAGUES IN THE PARTY OF MY DECISION AND AM HAPPY THAT THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MET YESTERDAY AND UNANIMOUSLY ACCEPTED MY PERSONAL DECISION TO STEP ASIDE.

THIS DECISION TO STEP DOWN AS LEADER OF THE MMD HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PREVAILING POLITICAL SITUATION WITHIN THE PARTY OR THE NATION.

DEAR COLLEAGUES,

I DECIDED TO TAKE THIS DECISION IN VIEW OF THE LATEST INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMME IN WHICH I HAVE THE HONOUR AND PRIVILEGE OF BEING INVITED TO TAKE PART.

I HAVE BEEN INVITED BY THE BOSTON UNIVERSITY’S AFRICAN PRESIDENTIAL ARCHIVES AND RESEARCH CENTRE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA TO PROVIDE VARIOUS LECTURES.

THIS PROGRAMME WILL REQUIRE ME TO BE OUT OF THIS GREAT COUNTRY FOR A PERIOD OF THREE MONTHS, WHICH MEANS I WILL BE OUT FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME.

AT FIRST, THE UNIVERISTY WANTED ME TO BE IN THE UNITED STATES FOR ONE YEAR, BUT BECAUSE OF COMMITMENTS TO MY OWN COUNTRY, I FELT IT WOULD NOT BE RIGHT FOR ME TO BE AWAY FOR THAT LONG. SO, WE AGREED ON AN INITIAL THREE MONTHS.

YOU WILL AGREE WITH ME THAT A POLITICAL PARTY CANNOT FUNCTION WITHOUT AN EFFECTIVE LEADER FOR THAT LONG PERIOD.

THEREFORE, IN ALL FAIRNESS TO MY PARTY, MYSELF AND MY FAMILY, I FOUND IT PRUDENT THAT I TAKE UP THIS NEW ASSIGNMENT WHICH WILL REQUIRE MY TIME AND ENERGIES DURING THIS PERIOD.

I HAVE BEEN CONSISTENT EVER SINCE WE LOST OUR ELECTIONS IN SEPTEMBER LAST YEAR THAT I WOULD LOVE TO LEAVE THIS GREAT PARTY, THE MMD, TO THE YOUNGER GENERATION TO TAKE OVER FROM ME. I HAVE NOT DEPARTED FROM THAT PROMISE.

IN FACT, YOU WILL RECALL THAT I WAS DUE TO OFFICIALLY LEAVE THE MMD LEADERSHIP IN DECEMBER LAST YEAR AT THE MEETING HELD AT PROTEA HOTEL IN LUSAKA.

HOWEVER, MY COLLEAGUES IN THE NEC DECIDED THAT I SHOULD STAY FOR A WHILE IN ORDER TO GUIDE THE PARTY TOWARDS THE CONVENTION WHERE A NEW LEADER WOULD BE DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED.

IT WAS ENVISAGED THEN THAT THE CONVENTION WOULD TAKE PLACE NEXT MONTH. I AM NOT YET PRIVY TO HOW FAR THE PARTY HAS GONE IN RAISING FUNDS FOR THE CONVENTION. HOWEVER, I REMAIN COMMITTED TO HELPING THE MMD DURING THIS PERIOD.

MY BOSTON UNIVERSITY PROGRAMME BEGINS AT THE END OF THIS MONTH. THEREFORE, I WON’T BE IN THE COUNTRY TO PROVIDE DAY-TO-DAY ADVICE AND GUIDANCE TO THE MMD. THIS IS WHY I HAVE DECIDED THAT I CONCENTRATE ON MY NEW PROGRAMME.

I REMAIN A COMMITTED MEMBER OF THIS GREAT PARTY AND LOOK FORWARD TO 2016 WHEN I EXPECT THE MMD TO BOUNCE BACK TO POWER.

YOU WILL APPRECIATE, DEAR COLLEAGUES, THAT THE MMD HAS HAD A RICH HISTORY OF DEMOCRATICALLY CHANGING ITS LEADERS, AND FOR THIS, I PAY TRIBUTE TO OUR FOUND LEADERS LED BY THE LATE DR FREDERICK J.T. CHILUBA (MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE).

DR CHILUBA PLAYED A CRUCIAL ROLE IN ENTRENCHING DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE BOTH AT NATIONAL AND PARTY LEVEL. HE WILL FOREVER BE REMEMBERED AS A COURAGEOUS LEADER WHO RAISED HIS VOICE WHEN MANY OF US WHERE SCARED OF DOING SO.

I ALSO THANK THE LATE DR LEVY PATRICK MWANAWASA S.C. (MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE) FOR HAVING BUILT ON THE STRONG FOUNDATION LEFT BY DR CHILUBA. IT WAS THIS FOUNDATION THAT MADE IT EASY FOR ME TO CONTINUE PROVIDING LEADERSHIP TO THIS GREAT COUNTRY.

I AM PERSONALLY INDEBTED TO DR MWANAWASA WHOSE LEADERSHIP STYLE ATTRACTED ME TO THE MMD. I AM EVER MORE GRATEFUL TO HIM FOR APPOINTING ME VICE-PRESIDENT OF OUR COUNTRY.

IT WAS AN HONOUR FOR ME TO HAVE SUCCEEDED HIM BOTH AS MMD AND REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT OF OUR GREAT COUNTRY, THOUGH IN TRAGIC CIRCUMSTANCES.

IT IS MY PRAYER THAT THE NEXT LEADER OF THE MMD WILL BUILD ON THE STRUCTURE I HAVE LEFT. I HAVE NO DOUBT IN MY MIND THAT THE MMD WILL RISE AGAIN AND BOUNCE BACK TO POWER.

WE SHALL ALL MAKE A VITAL COTRIBUTION TO OUR COUNTRY BY REBUILDING OUR PARTY. ZAMBIAN DEMOCRACY MUST MATURE. WE CANNOT ALLOW A SITUATION WHERE EVERY TIME A GOVERNING PARTY LOSES ELECTIONS, IT MUST, SUBSEQUENTLY, GO INTO OBLIVION.

OUR PARTY WILL SURVIVE, AND ITS NEW LEADERSHIP WILL RE-ORGAINSE ITSELF UNTIL IT REGAINS OFFICE IN 2016, DESPITE ALL THE ODDS, TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS THAT LIE ALONG THE WAY.

CHANGE IS INEVITABLE IN ANY DEMOCRACY. JUST AS WE CEDED POWER TO OUR COLLEAGUES, WE CAN ALSO BOUNCE BACK IF WE REACH OUR PEOPLE WITH THE RIGHT AND TIMELY MESSAGE.

BUT THIS WILL ONLY HAPPEN IF WE REMAIN UNITED AND REMEMBER THAT EVEN AS WE CAMPAIGN FOR THE PRESIDENCY OF OUR PARTY, WE TREAT EACH OTHER AS MEMBERS OF ONE FAMILY.

DEAR COLLEAGUES,

JUST AS I BADE FAREWELL TO THE NATION ON SEPTEMBER 23, 2011, TODAY I AGAIN EXERCISE MY DEMOCRATIC RIGHT TO DEPART FROM THE TOP SEAT OF OUR PARTY, THE MMD– THE PARTY I LOVE, THE PARTY THAT BROUGHT DEMOCRACY TO OUR BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY.

I THANK EVERY MEMBER OF OUR PARTY IN ALL PARTS OF OUR COUNTRY FOR THE LOVE AND RESPECT YOU ACCORDED AS I SERVED AS PARTY AND REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT. THE BEST I CAN DO IS TO WISH YOU GOD’S ABUNDANT BLESSINGS.

YOU SHALL ALWAYS OCCUPY A SPECIAL PLACE IN MY HEART. I LOVE YOU ALL.

GOOD MORNING.

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