- Southern Africa
- Politics - Governance
Zambia President Rupiah Banda excoriated for apathy
An opposition political party in Zambia has launched a fierce attack on the country’s leader, Rupiah Banda saying he is now behaving like a visitor to Zambia.
This is largely due to Banda’s now too frequent foreign trips at the expense of addressing problems facing the country.
Patriotic Front (PF) secretary general Wynter Kabimba is today quoted saying Banda “only visits Zambia to freshen up and change dirty clothes”
“Mr Rupiah Banda is an absentee President. A ceremonial President is even a better President - he is a figurehead in the country because he has responsibilities under the Constitution to execute” said Kabimba.
But Banda, according to Kabimba, who used Barack Obama as a yardstick to prove Banda’s apathy to his country, is far from executing that role but is now behaving like an absentee President.
“You have seen President Obama postpone his trip to East Asia twice in the last two weeks. Purely on account that he wants to make sure that his healthcare reform or programme goes through Congress. That for him is a crisis, nobody is dying as a result of the absence of the healthcare legislation,” Kabimba said.
Kabimba claims that from the time Banda was last in China, Zambia had seen more floods.
“The floods have not gone down… we have seen floods now reaching up to the rooftops of the houses of the poor people in this country ... this is the priority for the President! So to attend an inauguration ceremony of another President in a neighboring country surely cannot be a priority for the people of Zambia,” Kabimba added.
He was making reference to Sunday’s inauguration of Namibia’s leader, Hifikepunye Pohamba for a second term.
Allowances accrued from foreign trips is the main motivation for Banda “because he had nothing to show for in terms of development over the many trips he took,” the opposition said.
The opposition suggested that Banda should be conferred with the grand companion of tourist of Africa award on Africa Freedom Day “for his ceaseless and aimless travels since he took over as President”.
Meanwhile, President Banda has suggested that ignorance has led people to attack him over his visits to other countries. According to him his meetings with other presidents are to maintain good neighbourliness and also explore new avenues for trade.
A quick research on Wikepidia show that during his last visit to China recently, Banda stopped in Dubai for three days and for a day in the United Arab Emirates.