Former Zambia President quits party leadership

Former Zambian President Rupiah Banda. FILE | AFRICA EVIEW 

Zambia former President Rupiah Banda has stepped down as his Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) party leader.

The move is seen as Mr Banda's strategy to “save his benefits government has been threatening to withhold”.

The government, which has persistently threatened to withdraw Mr Banda’s benefits over his “continued engagement in politics”, was due to hold a meeting to decide on the way forward.

MMD spokesperson Dora Siliya announced to reporters Wednesday that Mr Banda had finally stepped down as party president.

“I wish to report that as you recall on the 23rd September, our President Rupiah Banda addressed the nation saying that after the loss of MMD in the last election, he was retiring from politics,” Ms Siliya said.

“I wish to announce that today, he actually also stepped down as the president of the party of the MMD.

"For more details on this matter, President Banda will be holding a press conference tomorrow [Thursday] at his residence at 08:30 hours, and you are all invited to attend this press conference so that you can hear his words and also have an opportunity to be able to ask him questions.”

According to the Zambian Constitution, benefits conferred by the Benefits of Former Presidents (Amendment) Act of 1998 “shall not be paid, assigned or provided to a former president who is engaged in active politics”.

The constitution states that the interpretation of “active politics” was “the doing of any act indicating a person’s intention to hold elective or appointive office; or the holding of elective of appointive office in a political party, or in an organisation whose main aim is the furtherance of political objectives”.

Ms Siliya said according to their party constitution, party chairperson Michael Mabenga would act as president.

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