Former United Party for National Development (UPND) vice-president Dr Canisius Banda says he is still willing to work with the PF and help to tackle corruption if the party gave him a platform.
Dr Banda said the issues of corruption surrounding the PF government needed “clean people” like himself, who were devoid of corruption, to get involved in the country’s governance system to fight the vice and eventually end it.
“I am a citizen, I am a patriot, I am a nationalist. And I will repeat, if President Lungu told Hakainde Hichilema to go and serve as his Finance Minister, Hichilema should agree, being Zambian, being patriot, being a nationalist. You cannot withhold knowledge, competencies and skills. You cannot claim to say, ‘I will only reveal the solution to this national problem when I become president’; that is being arrogant, it’s being wrong and foolish. So, whenever a citizen is asked to serve the Republic, he or she must agree. And that is the premise upon which my saying, ‘yes’ is founded. So, if President Lungu tomorrow said: ‘Dr Banda, here is a platform for you to serve your Republic’, I would say yes,” Dr Banda told News Diggers! in an interview.
And Dr Banda observed that Bahati PF member of parliament, Harry Kalaba, should not have left the party on grounds of corruption, but should have tackled the vice from within the corridors of power, and used it as an opportunity to prove himself as a true patriot.
“When there is storm, don’t run away from it. Run towards the storm because that challenge is an opportunity. So, if, for example, Chishimba Kambwili has left claiming that there is corruption; Harry Kalaba has left claiming that there is corruption, so now Dr Banda who is against corruption must go there where there is corruption and fight it. It is when clean people that are devoid of corruption get involved in the governance of the Republic that corruption will decrease, diminish and perhaps even end. So, it is us, the so-called ‘clean ones’ that must be in the ring fighting the corruption,” Dr Banda claimed.
Asked how he could manage working under President Lungu’s administration with all the mounting corruption cases against him, Dr Banda said the Presidency does not function in isolation.
He also said that he might form his own political party or join a different one altogether if PF was unwilling to adopt him in their ranks.
“The President is a human being, the President is not alone. The Presidency is larger than the individual and anyone can be President, so if, today there is President Lungu, the other day it will be someone else. If someone saw him to be corrupt the other day, it doesn’t mean he will be corrupt the following day. It doesn’t mean that, people change. So, it’s collective, it’s a body of people. The more non-corruptible people it has, the less corruption there will be in the whole country. And sometimes, it doesn’t need two people to change the world. It needs only one person. Jesus did it, Mark Zuckerberg did it, Steve Jobs did it, Albert Einstein did it. It takes just one person to touch people and look, it might be you, it might be me. So, if he asked me: ‘come and serve your Republic’, I will go there because what matters is service and we are going to serve the people,” said Dr Banda.
“Then the other thing that matters are the principles; the environment must not change you, you must seek to change it. If it’s corrupt, seek to eliminate the corruption, the corruption should not now make you to be corrupt or you will be defeated. So, the mission is cleansing the state, we must focus on ensuring that people have food, people have access to clean and safe water and can send their children to school. So, is it going to take Dr Banda to change Zambia? Perhaps. Who knows I might form my own political party or join another party, who knows? It’s a step at a time.”