President Rupiah Banda
has said the MMD is ready for the 2011 tripartite elections and challenged all
members to ensure the party is strengthened ahead of the polls.
President Banda said in Kabwe yesterday
that in conformity with the democracy which the MMD believed in, all the party
members should prepare for the forthcoming elections by ensuring that all the
structures were strengthened to ensure the party was functional.
this when he officially opened the second MMD
extraordinary convention at Mulungushi Rock of Authority.
all the members to rekindle the spirit of volunteerism and adopt a true spirit
of putting service above self.
The president said the MMD had emerged
stronger from its provincial conferences and should be even stronger after the
Mr Banda, who called for discipline in the party as a way of
strengthening it, advised the delegates to ensure they elected selfless and
hardworking national executive committee (NEC) leaders who would enable the
party to win with a landslide victory in this year’s elections.
is the brain and runs the party. Therefore, the party must elect a strong NEC of
hardworking men, women and youth who will effectively run the party. These
should be people who can mobilise and organise the party,” he said.
Banda, who reiterated the need for peaceful campaigns as the country heads for
the polls, said the eyes of the whole country were focused on the MMD.
urged the members to avoid embarrassing activities and demonising other
To win this year’s elections and progress the country’s
economy further, President Banda said the party should be led by men and women
The president said the MMD believed in democracy and
should, therefore, ensure the holding of democratic elections which were free
and fair where held.
In this regard, President Banda said the Government
had extended an invitation to international observers to come and monitor the
“The MMD must further take the lead and not initiate acts of
violence during the coming elections. We must urge other political parties, too,
to engage in peaceful campaigns to preserve peace in the country,” he
He said even as campaigns were being conducted, there was need to
ensure that the country’s economic gains were not lost.
urged women and the youth, being the majority in the country, to vote en masse
as the country’s destiny was dependent to a large extent on how they
He said the MMD aimed to increase the number of women in
leadership so that the challenges that they faced could be resolved.
Banda said had the Constitutional Amendment Bill passed second reading in
Parliament, it was going to mean the next Parliament having 30 per cent women
He, however, urged Zambians not to worry because the
Government would ensure the Bill was re-introduced after the
He said the MMD Government had laid a strong foundation for
more and better education facilities, and increased job and wealth
“Vote to ensure that the gains the MMD has tirelessly worked
for since 1991 are not lost. In a democracy, we must work to better things and
not to make them worse. We cannot move from democracy to dictatorship and from
decent behaviour to a culture of insults. It should not be change from sound
economic management to voodoo economy, from bumper harvest to hunger,” he
He said it was this convention which would ensure that the dreams
of the people in 1991 and today were achieved by choosing a leadership which was
responsible and understood the people’s goals.
“When this convention
ends, the battle to win the elections, the battle for a better future for our
country, for our children, starts. We must not take this battle lightly. We must
be prepared to walk, drive and cycle until we reach all voters and convince them
that it is their future at stake. We must take nothing for granted,” he
The president said poverty levels in Zambia were currently at 51
per cent due to the determination and efforts of the MMD Government. He said
poverty levels were more than 58 per cent in 1991 when the MMD assumed
He said the party was aware that there was still a big number of
people in the country who had not yet received the full benefits from its
Mr Banda said there was no other organisation in Zambia today
that was more democratic and had developmental credentials than the MMD to carry
the programmes forward.
The president told a crowd of more than 1,000 MMD
delegates to the convention that Zambia was today developing more rapidly than
20 years ago.
Mr Banda said the MMD had scored major successes and would
continue doing so as it remained committed to serving the Zambian
He said the MMD has strengthened various governance institutions
in Zambia such as the mechanism to fight corruption to sustain the economic
achievements made so far.
The measures the MMD put in place had paid
dividends as seen in the Mo-Ibrahim Index of Africa governance and the
Millennium Challenge Cooperation Score Card, that had all shown notable
improvements of Zambia’s ranking.
Other measures towards enhancing good
governance include the parliamentary reforms through the establishment of
parliamentary constituency offices throughout the country and the public and
private bodies to strengthen the human rights campaign.
said Zambia’s sovereign rating status meant that it was destined for more
investments and that was the only way that more meaningful jobs would be
Growth in both the mining and tourism sectors was equally
unprecedented, with copper production going high.
In agriculture, the
president said more progress had been recorded, resulting in the country being
one of those in the region producing more than it required.
MMD national chairperson Michael Mabenga commended MMD members for their hard
work which led to the ushering in of President Banda in the 2008 presidential
Mr Mabenga urged the MMD members to emulate President
Banda’s leadership qualities, which he described as humble.
yesterday it was the hard work and discipline that led the MMD members to ensure
President Banda won the 2008 presidential by-election, which he described as
He said the ruling party had continued to grow from strength
to strength because of Mr Banda’s leadership and urged all the MMD members to
emerge as a strong force after the convention.
The ruling MMD, Mr Mabenga
said, was the only party with a national character, making it the first party of
He said just slightly more than two years in Government,
President Banda had delivered to the expectation of the people, and the party in
Government would continue to improve Zambia’s infrastructure beyond
Mr Mabenga commended the government’s electrification programme and
the party’s impetus to continue transforming the country’s economy.
said to win convincingly, the MMD needed to work even harder and ensure all the
structures were strengthened.
Western Province party chairperson Simasiku
Namakando urged all the provincial leaders to campaign hard and ensure President
Banda was given 100 per cent votes.
Mr Namakando said in a vote of thanks
after the president’s speech that only people who were not serious would vote
for politicians advocating homosexuality, which he said should not be condoned
because Zambia was a Christian nation.
He said it was only under Present
Banda’s leadership that Zambia had managed to become a food basket in the
Southern African region.