Former UPND vice-president Dr Canisius Banda says e would thank God if President Edgar Lungu appointed him as a Cabinet Minister or to any public service position.
And Dr Banda has charged that Hakainde Hichilema is a self-centered man who always wants to lead at the expense of others.
In an interview, Dr Banda said he would thank God if the Head of State gave him a job, saying he had already been helping the government to deliver.
“I am a nationalist, I have dedicated my life to the service of the nation and humanity. And even now, I am serving the nation by offering advice to the government, the President knows that I am working to help the government deliver, even in my private role. But if the President decides to give me a more public role through, which I should contribute to the service of the nation and mankind, I wouldn’t hesitate to take up it up. I would use any role that the President would give me to serve the nation as I have always done in different capacities and as I continue to do now. I would thank God for such an opportunity from the Republican President because service to the nation and humanity is what comes first for me, and we should all be ready to work for the betterment of the country whenever called upon,” Dr Banda said.
“Platforms for work do not matter and they vary with time, what matters is the work that you do. For example, what moves me is service to humanity, so whether under UNIP, MMD, UPND or PF, the service remains the same. So, what I find important is to address the need of citizens now and that’s why wherever I have been, I have highlighted issues that matter to people, such as water and sanitation, electricity for all, water for all, education for all. There used to be a time when I used to be vice president in the UPND and I did say that: ‘Chagwa wagwesa magesi’ that was a mantra that I said, and the Republican President listened and load shedding that was terrible, with 30 per cent power reduction to the mines, is gone now. That shows that the President listened. I did say that: ‘migodi yagwa’ but that has changed with the new mining tax regime that has been introduced so that Zambians get more from their minerals than ever before, because it’s this money once collected that will fund our education and health sectors.”
He said he had so far been supporting the PF by rendering them helpful advice.
“I stand with the Presidency of the Republic of Zambia and the ruling government, so I support the government of the day, which comprises the ruling party, the PF. So, I am a development activist, and whenever I get the opportunity, I bring to the attention of the ruling party, ‘dos and don’ts’ in my private capacity as a citizen; I highlight various issues to different party and government leaders, right from the SG to the ministers. For example, I keep telling them that stop overpricing government contracts, for example, if a rim of paper costs K50, let’s not buy it at K150 because that’s government wastage of peoples’ resources. When we save money, the national income will grow and we will have money to spend on roads, hospitals, schools and others. And I also mention to them, for example, that it’s more important to dismantle domestic debt than foreign debt first, because domestic debt is going to put money in the pockets of Zambians, the foreign debt, money goes in the pockets of foreigners. So, these are examples of advice that I give to the ruling party and they are received very well because they see me as one of them, a citizen that means well,” explained Dr Banda.
And Dr Banda charged that Hichilema was a self-centered man who always wanted to lead at the expense of others.
“I want to put it in on record that I thank the UPND for giving me an opportunity to serve as vice-president of the party, but do I miss the UPND? No! I played my part, I did what I could and I cannot go back, there is no position that I can hold there. Remember, I was vice president for politics, I was number two and HH did a good job to groom me to succeed him, but there is no vacancy up to now, HH is still there. He thinks that it always has to be him in the driving seat that he has to be the leader, always. The man is so self-centred; he thinks that he is the only one who can lead and he cannot be led! But good leadership means that you cannot lead, always. Sometimes, you have to be led by others, sometimes you have to lead from behind and that’s what I am doing now myself by giving advice to the ruling party in the back ground,” said Dr Banda.