Former president Rupiah Banda says there is urgent need for peaceful talks among political leaders in order to drop the temperature of the country from the heat of problems.
And Banda says he does not agree with everything that is contained in the national Constitution and that some clauses have remained unchanged since independence.
Speaking when the ZCID Board members paid a courtesy call on him at his farmhouse in Makeni Lusaka on Saturday, Banda who is the fourth republican president, also warned that there would be chaos if the country did not stop tribalism.
“If we try to solve all the problems in order to have unity, we will wait for the next 100 years we will never agree. We are different people, the constitution is a complex document. It is not done by politicians or groups of people. The Constitution is prepared by experts…you have to find specialists, you have to tell them that what you want as a people is this, now you tell us (politicians0 how to achieve it. They (specialists) will have to sit down, going to the books of the United States Constitution of rights, Constitution of Nigeria and see which part of these can come into our Constitution to make what we want to achieve. But what we want to achieve is to bring peace, to drop the temperature of our country from the heat of the problems to the coolness of the peace,” Banda said.
He said after being recognized, President Edgar Lungu must then accommodate everyone regardless of one’s political inclination.
“If we can’t find the solution and gauge how current leaders and our current leader is Edgar Lungu, once that is accepted, I have never hesitated to pass this message to our leader of UPND. Always when my son [Andrew Banda] comes here and we are fighting about politics, I say that the first thing that we have to do is to have a leader. We can’t be in a country without a leader. Now it is this leader who must them accommodate all of us. And the solution must rise right there,” he said.
Meanwhile Banda asked the Commonwealth led envoy to state its position regarding who should spearhead the national political dialogue.
“And the commonwealth, we need to tell them also, ‘if you are saying it should be Zambian led, come out and say so’, ‘and stop coming or if you come, come through us, give us the resources to find the solution and let’s work together to do this.’ You can’t say it should be Zambian led and at the same time the opposition is saying ‘we want it to be led by you and you are not saying anything about it’. You get my point?” Banda asked.
The former president said not everything in the Constitution was correct.
“They are saying we should be Zambian led, Zambian led mean that this organisation I call it ZCID, am afraid of CID Zambia Criminal Investigation, so I call it ZCID always. So they must help us to find a solution because we agreed that they have a role to play. We have to work together to cure this and it will be easier for our president to accept them. If they say ‘no, we are going to work with the Zambian organization in order to find a solution’ the details of how all the things and believe me, I am not a believer that everything is okay in terms of the Constitution and so on. I was there, there things they should have done which I didn’t do, these are the things which were there during Kaunda. Some he created them when he was our first president and we never removed them from the statutes,” he said.
Banda said with enough brains in the country, there was need to constitute a team of top lawyers to look at the constitutions and make recommendations on what should be done.
“So all the things have to be enough, and we have enough brains in our people. If we put our money aside and call our top lawyers and say ‘here, we give you three years, you must come out with the solution on what to do.’ They will finish the work and come to you to say this is what we have come up with and it will go to the government. Everybody will agree because they will have participated,” he added.
And Banda said that if tribalism was not stopped on time, the country would harvest chaos.
“But if we try to find solutions first before we have peace, that’s my fear. There is so much tension on our side but outsiders, when outsiders come here they say ‘aah paradise, this is a wonderful country where people are nice’ and they walked inside here and found only two policemen at the gate and they thought they would find soldiers at every corner of my house to protect me and they said ‘in South Africa you can’t live in a place like this alone, people come and collect you’. Everywhere you go there is tribe, it’s terrible. If we don’t stop it, we are going to harvest chaos, so there are problems,” said Banda.