The African Forum for Former African Heads of State and governments has congratulated fourth republican president Rupiah Banda exhibited political maturity when he peacefully handed over power to Michael Sata.

In a statement issued by First Secretary for Press and Public Relations at the Zambian High Commission in South Africa Naomi Nyawali yesterday, forum Chairperson Joachim Chissano said Banda’s contribution to the promotion of peace in Zambia and the SADC region was exceptional.

Chissano, who is also former Mozambican President, said this in a letter delivered to Banda during the third African Forum General Assembly held in South Africa.

“Mr Chisano said Zambia’s former President Rupiah Banda was among the prominent African personalities who had contributed to political, social and economic transformation of SADC region and Africa as a whole. This is contained in a letter delivered to Mr Banda during the third African Forum General Assembly held in Johannesburg City, South Africa, officially inviting him to join the African Forum known as AF for exhibiting political maturity when he handed over the instruments of power to his predecessor late Michael Sata. The AF congratulated Mr Banda for demonstrating a high sense of political maturity in the democratic process which crowned the political transition in Zambia,” stated Nyawali.

“Mr Chissano noted that the AF was pleased to invite Mr Banda to join the forum as he had outstanding democratic credentials which qualified him to be a member of the forum. He said the forum needed distinguished Former African Heads of State and Government to place their wealth of experience, moral authority and expertise to guide the continent and its leaders. Mr Banda has since delivered his maiden speech in which he called on African governments to increase the provision of tertiary education to young people.”

Members of the African Forum include, former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, Former Ghanaian president John Mahama and Former Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete among others.