KAPOCHE PF member of parliament Dr Charles Banda says the ruling party will only hand over the Republican Presidency in 2026 to an individual from a different ethnic group outside Eastern Province after President Edgar Lungu finishes another five-year mandate.

Speaking to party members and the electorate in Nyanje area of Sinda District, Tuesday, Dr Banda said the ruling party would only allow a non-easterner to ascend to the Republican Presidency in 2026 after President Lungu retires because other ethnic groups should also be given chance to govern.

“Let’s be careful, we have come a long way and for us to get tired now, we shouldn’t be tried. President Edgar Lungu should be maintained in 2021 until 2026, and in 2026, President Lungu will not stand as we will not get another one from Eastern Province, we are not the only ones in Zambia; we will allow others out of Eastern to rule, but from now until 2026, it’s Lungu, period!” Dr Banda said.

He claimed Kapoche constituency was the only one in Zambia which had rapidly developed, bragging that as area member of parliament, he had managed to drill 123 boreholes in various villages, among other developmental projects.

“When I was the MP, I never managed to drill even 15 boreholes here, but this time, it’s a wonder to most people as we have drilled 123 boreholes in various villages and we know they are not enough, hence we are still drilling. On bridges, we have constructed 20 bridges and we are still constructing. This time, I am not campaigning as time for campaigns will come and I will come to be judged by you on how I have represented you from 2016 to 2021, but I have hope that I will continue till 2026,” he said.

And Dr Banda, who is also Local Government Minister, urged the electorate to dismiss anyone masquerading as parliamentary candidates because the party had not yet adopted anyone to stand at next year’s polls.

“The party has not adopted anyone yet, they have not sat to adopt anyone. Awa anyanthyengu (birds seen only during rainy season) alupitapita nchito yao ndi uchula zina ya Charles. Campaign yao ni Charles Banda, Charles Banda malo mwakuti alankhule zinthu zomwe ati akacite (the birds (aspirants) crossing here, their campaign message is Charles Banda instead of them telling people what they want to do for you). Time hasn’t come, when time for campaign comes, I will start mentioning their names and if it’s to walk naked, they will,” said Dr Banda, who also also thanked local residents for registering in huge numbers.

Earlier, Dr Banda spent about K4,000 cash by giving K10 notes to everyone who attended the meeting to appreciate their presence.

Several stakeholders, including traditional leaders, were in attendance to hear Dr Banda’s message ahead of the formal commencement of the 2021 election campaign.