Zambia's Banda to head Lesotho poll observer teamBy MICHAEL CHAWE in Lusaka | Saturday, May 19 2012 at 15:38
Former Zambia President Rupiah Banda is expected to travel to Lesotho Monday to lead an 18-member election observer mission ahead of the kingdom\s National Assembly elections set for May 26.
Mr Banda is 'President-in-residence' at the Boston University African Presidential Center in Massachusetts, USA.
"Zambia former President Rupiah Banda has been appointed leader of the 18-member Election Observation Mission to the Kingdom of Lesotho for next week’s National Assembly elections in the small land-locked country, scheduled for May 26, 2012," an email statement from his office said.
"He [Mr Banda] will head the team of influential civil society and religious representatives under the auspices of the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA), whose patron is former President of Botswana, Sir Ketumile Masire.”
The statement said Mr Banda will meet various stakeholders including Lesotho’s King Letsie III and Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili prior to the elections.
"This is a huge honour that I do not take lightly. Democracy is a precious commodity in Africa and I know only too well that we must protect it,” the statement quoted Mr Banda as saying.
In 2011, Mr Banda also acted as co-leader for the United States-based The Carter Center during the November polls in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the statement said.
He lost to Zambia’s current President Michael Sata of the Patriotic Front in September polls.
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