VERNON Mwaanga says former president Rupiah Banda should leave him out of his dubious deals. Commenting on Banda’s statement that it was absurd to brand him a tribalist for supporting Edgar Lungu’s presidential bid when no one took issue with Mwaanga supporting UPND, Mwaanga said it was unfair for Banda to use him in his campaigns for the PF. “If he has been promised things by PF, I suggest he leaves my name out of these dubious deals. I did not endorse HH for tribal reasons. I did it because it was my view that he would be the best person to lead Zambia at this time of our history, when we must get rid of mediocrity, corruption and inability to honour promises to the Zambian people by our government. Tribalism is a cancer which the Zambian people must continue to reject with utmost contempt,” he said. He said he could not be accused of tribalism as he had in the past backed people who were not his tribesmen. “If there is one person among the many leaders and former leaders who cannot be accused of tribalism, it’s probably me. My political history speaks for itself in that even during the days of the struggle, I joined UNIP and not ANC, much to the anger of my family. I have in the last 50 years supported presidents Kenneth Kaunda, Frederick Chiluba, Levy Mwanawasa and Rupiah Banda himself, not because of their tribe, but because I felt at the time that they would be good for Zambia,” Mwaanga said. He said his record as a non tribal minister could not be surpassed. “Even in 1991, after the reintroduction of multi-party politics, I ran for Parliament twice in Roan Constituency in Luanshya up to 2001. As Minister of Foreign Affairs and later for information or even as Government Chief Whip, my record as a non-tribal minister, can at best be equalled, but certainly not surpassed,” said Mwaanga.
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