[October 10, 2006]

I Am Overwhelmed By the Appointment, Says Banda

(AllAfrica.com English Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Lusaka, Oct 10, 2006 (The Post/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) --NEWLY appointed Republican Vice-President Rupiah Banda has said he is overwhelmed by his appointment. In an interview shortly after President Levy Mwanawasa announced his appointment, Vice-President Banda said he was greatly humbled.


He said he took his appointment with great gratitude and humility. "I am greatly humbled by President Mwanawasa's show of confidence in me," Vice-President Banda said. He pledged his loyalty to President Mwanawasa. Vice-President Banda also pledged to carry out President Mwanawasa's vision and work together with his colleagues in government to develop rural areas and make life better for Zambians. Vice-President Banda said Zambians knew him in many circles and that he was an open person. He also said he grew up with many Zambians.

In 2003, Post news editor Webster Malido had interviewed Vice-President Banda for a profile, which appeared in the Sunday Post of December 7. Below, we reproduce Banda's profile interview:

I will first ask you to give me your background, that is, when and where you were born, your education and later on your career progression.

I was born in Zimbabwe, in a small town called Gwanda, 82 kiIomeIres from Bulawayo going towards Beit-bridge in South Africa on 19th February, 1937. I went to primary school at Mtshabezi Mission, it was a Lutheran Church School, up to Standard Two. Then I went for my Standard Three and Four at Guhateme Mission, just across the Tuli River on the way to Botswana. We used to walk 48 miles to reach the place.

Every day?

No, no, no, when going to school with luggage the whole day. And then my parents always had a feeling that we should know the roots where they came from because my parents had walked from Zambia to Zimbabwe looking for work and they always dreamt that one day I should come back. They made arrangements with the Dutch Reformed Church priest who was from Zambia but seconded to Gwanda, the place where I was born, for me to go to school at Madzimoyo Mission in Chipata. That's how I came. That's where I started my primary school. I was there for a year and then moved to Katete where I did my Standard Five upper and Standard Six upper As you know in those days we had to go through all these stages. The colonialists tried to slow us down as much as possible or they thought we were not capable of going fast enough. So we did every class almost twice. So after standard five you went to standard six lower and then to standard six upper. Each lower grade took one year and then I qualified to go to Munali. You know that it wasn't easy to find a place at Munali at that time because there were only 400 sludents from all over the counay. It was the only secondary school in the whole country so you needed to get really high marks and luckily, I was one of the few who qualified to Munali on scholarship. Everybody who qnalified to go to Munali had a scholarship. The scholarship just covered your boarding and school fees.

And where were your parents during this period?

My parents had remained in Zimbabwe when I came here, so every year I used to travel by bus or train back there. It used to take five to six days to get there. For secondary school, my parents didn't have the money to enable me to be doing these trips to the North. So an Asian amily by the name of B.R. Naik sponsored me, they paid for all my expenses from Form One to Form Five. Again you know that time you had to go from form one to form two, form two to form three, form four to form five. So it took something like six years to go up to what you now call Grade 12. They (Naik family) paid during all that period for me and I am deeply indebted to them. Unfortunately, Mr. Naik is late. His wife whom we called gogo (grandmother) is late but Ius children are very successful. The oldest one who was actually the manager of my school funds and 1 wish to mention him because he's got something to do with my involvement in politics. His name is Amrat Naik and he is the oldest son. He was quiet and very perceptive and I didn't realise how deeply involved he was in politics. He had noticed a politician in me. He was deeply involved in the liberation movement in Zimbabwe which earned him a 12 and half years prison sentence together with Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe. He was one of the few Asians who served that long in prison. He was Zimbabwean and he was Asian and he was very deeply involved in the liberation movement underground, I didn't really know that but Ian Smith got him locked up for 12 and half years. Thank God he is still alive and he has been mayor of Gwanda for quite a number of years. He is very much active in ZANU - PF right now. The other son of Mr. Naik is Ranjit. He is an author now in economics and financial books in England but he studied engineering, banking and computer sciences. He is very brilliant and he visited me two weeks ago for the first time after so many years. So we shared a few tears of joy together. The younger brother is a medical doctor, Ramesh. He is in England as well. The other brother Sumesh is ailing now, he's got a heart condition. He remained in Zimbabwe with the rest of the family to look after their businesses but he is sick now. So from there, I came here and immediately got involved with Dr. Kaunda.

Was that after your school?

No. I was still at school. By the time I was coming, I was already political because of the problems in Zimbabwe and then what I saw here attracted me to the ANC for a while because it was the only political party and like many other young people, I became disgruntled. They were moving too slowly. They were not prepared to take the colonial regime on with vigour. So when Dr. Kaunda and company broke away from ZANC, I immediately threw myself into their youth wing. But 1 continued with my studies at Munali from form one to form five and passed very well. And then we got our independence. No, no, belore we got our independence UNIP had started a scholarship programme. They started to ask their friends, Egypt, Scandinavia and other socialist countries to take young Zambians for further studies because we foresaw that there would be a problem. And so I was seleered together with two other young Zambians to go on a UNIP scholarship to Ethiopia. I was in Ethiopia until the first attempted coup. I became a bit restless and 1 also wanted to go to Europe..

When was that?

That was in 1960. There were two brothers who were in the imperial guard who rebelled. There was a lot of violence and so on. I decided that I wanted to go to Europe to study. I had only done one year in Ethiopia then I went for a conference in Lund, in the south of Sweden. But inside, I already knew that I wouldn't have come back. When I got there, I started talking to people about staying. I was immedialely adopted by a Swedish family; the Ursings. The husband's name was Bo and the wife's name was Aia. The wife was a teachcr, the husband was a medical doctor. So they took me to stay with their family and their children until I was able to get a scholarship. I started going to the university while staying with them. I stayed with them for nine months. It was also a wonderful period for me coming from' a country where there was no relantionship between blacks and whites. And to be adopted by a white family and to be kept like their own child with all the kindness and genuineness helped me to also understand that not all whites were bad poople. So this was also a wonderful period of my life. Then I managed to get a scholarship from the Committee of International Union of Students which had Swedish students who got togelher and agreed that they would make a fund available for developing countries. So from there, they added a small portion so that it would ennble people from less privileged countries like Africa, Asia or Latin America to go at Lund University on scholarship. That also impressed me a great deal. I didn't think. that students would think of other students and other less privileged people and do something for them. But they've had a great impact on my laterthinking in life. It meant thm all the students at Lund were like a hospitality committee. They all treatcd us as their guests and we also fcll very much part of them because we knew that they were paying for us. While there, Dr Kaunda and UNIP appointed me as their representative to Northern Europe and whatever I could do for the party, they asked me to do it. And the students' union encouraged me and they actually paid for me to visit Norway, to visit Finland, to visit Denmark and the other parts of Sweden giving lectures and raising funds for the party and raising scholarships' for other Zambian students who laler followed me there. Notable among 'Ihose were friends like Alexander Chikwanda, the late Emmanuel Chalabesa who was senior private secretary to Dr. Kaunda at State House, Titus Chipumbu who remained in Sweden and Raji Sakwanda who became the general manager of Bank of Zambia at one time. And to that I add a Zimbabwean student whom l had met quite by accident in Czechoslovakia where UNIP had sent me, and specifically by Arron Milner who was secretary general of the party. He gave meinstructions to go there and find out the problems that Zambian students were facing because a number of them had gone to Czechoslovakia and they were having a lot of problems with the population there. One of lhem had been thrown out of a moving train by Czech youths. They threw him out of the train and he broke his spine. I don't know whether he is still alive, So I went there and met this young Zimbabwean student. He was the only one, There were about ten Zambians but he was the only one from Zimbabwe and he came to see me and said he also wanted to move to Lund University, he was only 19 then. He is now the Minister of Defence in Zimbabwe.

And who is the person?

Dr. Sydney Sekeramayi.

This is the current Minister for Zimbabwe?

Yes because the scholarship programme which I had arranged in Sweden was for Zambian students only, they did not give him a scholarship to start with but I still moved him out using UNIP funds and kept him and I kept him in my flat and we lived together in my flat. It was a one room flat so we put a mattress there and we stayed together. I say this because it is very sentimental because he is still my very close friend. He is minister now. But when I call him minister he says "no...no...don't call me minister call me my young brother" and he calls me mukoma which means big brother. We lived together for one year until we managed to get a scholarship for him. He remained behind I came back. After nine years he became a medical doctor. and to repay Zambia.

Maybe before we go on, what where you studying yourself?

I was studying economic history, the history of the economy.

You can continue from where I cut you short.

And he became a medical doctor and then to repay us he asked us he asked me if he could come and work in Zambia which we arranged. He came and worked for UTH as a doctor. He lived with my young brother James who kept him there. Because my brother was single, they were able to live together. But still he was restless, he wanted to join the struggle. He went to the eastern front and became one of the three doctors who prosecuted the war. He looked after the people right through the struggle and It was a wonderful experiencee. And when returning, when they were about to take over, he asked if they could come through Zambia to come and say "thank you" to my family. We got a phone call from him saying "I am arriving tomorrow and I will leave for Zimbabwe from Zambia raher than from Mozambique straight". It was really wonderful. So he satyed with us and he travelled from here to Zimbabwe to join the other ZANU-PF forces. Q: And how did you settle down after Sweden?

Well, I was now back on the scene after finishing my degree whih will be called here a BA or BSc In Economic History but in Sweden its called Philosophy Candidate. And I was immediatlely asked by UNIP, Dr. Kaunda in particular, to join the new diplomatic service and to return to Zambia for the first course in diplomacy which was arranged by the Commonwealth for a number of countries which were about to become Independent, Kenya, Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania. So we all met here and that made become one group because we were the first diplomats. We all knew each other, we all became ambassadors for our various countries and later ministers and so on and so forth. We had a course later here in Lusaka at Evelyn Hone. no...no what's that college which is just behind Evelyn Hone?

NIPA?

NIPA, yes. Then after that, we were posted to different places and they thought I was capable of being ambassador at the age of 27, they sent me to Egypt. This was my first posting. They supported me and gave a lot of highly qualified people in the civil service to support me. And there I was ambassador under President Gamal Abdel-Nasser. He was also a young officer, he had just staged a coup. He took a great liking to my youthfulness. He treated me like a son or a young brother. After two and half years, following the first Israeli-Egyptian war, I was moved to the United States of America to be ambassador at the age of 29. Where I was the youngest ambassador also. And again I got a lot of support, from the establishment in the United States and of course Zambia from my political party and the President. I was in Washingtone DC,I cant remember the dates but I was there I think for two years and I was asked to come back here to run RDC, Rural Development Corporation and a number of its subsidiary companies as chief executive. after that I was transferred to NAMBOARD , National Agriculture Marketing Board as general Manager. I spent two years at RDC and at NAMBOARD, I think I spent another two and half years. Then I was sent off to the United States again, as ambassador to permanent representative to the United Nations. While there, I was also the President of the UN Council for Namibia, which meant at the time that I was the de facto president of Namibia. I was also the President of the state of Namibia because the United Nations was the was the legal head of Namibia although the South Africans were holding on to It. We decided that we did not recognize the holding on Namibia so I was the President and I had the privilege of dealing of dealing with the current President who was at the time the President of SWAPO, President Sam Nujoma and his Prime minister Theo Ben Gurirab and the other one Hage Geingob, the former prime minister. We founded the Institute for Namibia. The Council appointed Hage Geingob to become the head of the council, assisted by Sean MacBride, a very famous Irishman, he was foreign minister of Ireland before, a very great son of Ireland who was later succceded by the man who became the President of Finland and secretary general of the UN. ( Long pause).

You can continue.

And then, I was recalled after only one year to become the foreign minister of Zambia. I only served for one year at the UN before coming. This was during the Angolan war, the most difficult period. I never really sat down . All that year, I was travelling constantly to all parts trying to broker a ceasefire for peace In Angola. My counter part in Angola at the time was the current President (Eduardo) dos Santos. We worked closely though we had a difference because we were for a government of national unity and he was representing MPLA. He (Dos Santos) was the foreign minister of MPLA and said dthey didn't like the idea (government of national unity) althought eventually of course we were somehow vindicted. But that didn't stop our personal relationship. He was a good friend, a very wise man. Particulary, I remember the time when he came to my home and we had lunch together with my late wife. From there I was transferred from the MInistry of Foreign Affairs to the Ministry of Mines. No..no I wasn't transferred there.Then we had elections beacsuse there was a period when I was back-bencher, in 1978 I recall.

Which constituency was this?

Munali Constituency. And I defended it five years later and won. And it was during my third defence that the MMD knocked me out.

So you had been MP for Munali from 1978 to 1991?

Yes. But there was a break In between when I was defeated by Kampata. The second defence Kampata defeated me but I went to court. Up to now, that case is still an example at the University and everywhere.

But there is still a gap from the point you were moved from foreign affairs to the ministry of mines?

Yah though as a minister of state at the time, I didn't work under anybody, I worked under the prime minister. Then when change came I was defeated by the MMD. They really came with vengeance though again I came with the highest votes of the losing UNIP candidates. I got nearly 5000 votes when everybody else was gettingg 1000 or less all over the country. So I put upa good fight but the MMD was too strong, I was defeated by Ronald Penza, the late.

Did you leave politics after that?

No I didn't leave because after we were defeated, I just couldn't understand how we lost and I didn't like the bitterness particularly towards Dr. Kaubda. I felt that I had to stand again. So I continued with Dr. Kaunda rebuilding UNIP because a lot of people then. They left either to join MMD or to keep quiet but I stayed on with him. We fought until the elections which we boycotted because our president was not allowed to stand. I was really one of those staunch believers that we should boycott the elections.

Did you plan to stand again as MP?

Yes. I was going to stand again in Munali constituency but I also supported the boycott very much. I campaigned for it although they were others within the leadership of UNIP who thought that we were going to lose an opportunity becausee it looked like we were going to come out very strong. And with hindsight, I realise that those who actually advocated for us to stand were actually wise. One of those was Professor (Patrick) Mvunga. That's one of my friends.

So how did you find working with Dr. Kaunda?

Very educative. He was a true Mwalimu, a true teacher, patient, underslanding, particularly of the youlh. He has always been very fond of young people, of people like myself, Vernon Mwaanga, Moto Nkama and Alinani Simbulo, Jethro Multi. All these were naturally his favourites. We were youlhs, we made a lot of mislakes, we were very active. But he always had time for us and he always helped us, to build us into men. And also, ideologically, Dr. Kaunda was very tolerant of olher people's views, ideologies. But we were not, we were more on the radical side. We were very pro-Cuba, very Pro-Castro because that was the main.. .and Kaunda was able to keep both the radicals, the moderates and the conservative together. And also, his work ethic fascinated me a lot and perhaps I tried to learn from that. He is a very hard working and a disciplined person. If he says we are leaving at 5 AM, it's 5 AM. He will be the first one there. And you know this country is quite large and quite hot. Some parts in the valley, he would walk the distances. And walking with him was even torturous because he is a fast walker.

Was this during the struggle or when he was already president?

Both when he was president of the party, from the beginning and even when he was president of Zambia. And perhaps that is why he is the most well known politician, not because he ruled the country for so long but because he went everywhere, everybody has had a glance of Dr. Kaunda. All the people knew him. He has visited every part of the country several times, not once, not twice but many times. And that was also wonderful experience for some of us He also was very well read. If you consider his education level at the time, he really deserved the doctorate that he received.. He had read himself to the highest limit. And I was very fascinaled and still am by his knowledge of the Bible. I come from a Watchtower family, my late father, my other and all my family except myself. They are the only people that l know really know the Bible but KK was as good as that. That fascinated me a lot because I knew I had read a lot of books in history and economics and literature and so on. He also had read but the Bible I don't know very much about it but I was surprised he could quote it appropriately and extensively. And one other point I want to make about Dr. Kaunda is his simplicily. Both in speech when he decides to explain something, and maybe because he was a teacher, he will explain it in a simple way. But also, his way of life is not difficult to please, When he is your guest, you don't have to worry much about him. He is always happy with very little and will always be grateful and he will say it himself, 'I am grateful'. After we lost the eleetions, he has been my guest many limes at my home in Ndola, at my home in Chipata and one time when I was in England for a Iittle while he came to visit us at my home in London. He is always the easiest person to look after. And in the villages where we used to go, he would go in grass lhatched house. They will put a mat for him to sleep, you won't hear him say 'Here? I won't sleep'. We would worry about him and go and buy Target and so on to kill mosquitoes but he will just be standing and say 'goodnighl, goodnight everybody'.

I saw a potrait of Dr. Kaunda down there in your living mom. Do you still hang it there?

Yes, I hang it there but they are dusling the house because I've got guests coming in today (last Thursday). That picture is very special. I used to have a very small picture of Dr. Kaunda when I was ambassador in Cairo and there was a prisoner who I heard painted in Egypt, that he was a good painter. So I asked the prison authorities if they could give me an oil painting of this picture. So they painted it, it's a very valuable one.

You are one of the very few former UNIP leaders who are not destitute, so to say. Most of the former UNIP leaders are miserable but you still appear to be doing well. What's your secret?

I am not doing that well myself... .

Yes, but at least you are not as desperate as most of them.

Yes. I didn't receive terminal benefits like everybody else. But very early in life, I thought about going into business because one day I will be old and I have to have some kind of business. So I bought a company called Robert Hudson Zambia Limited, it was an engineering company servicing the mines in Ndola and I also expanded into a company called Allen West Zambia Limited which was an electrical engineering company in Kitwe. Because these companies had properties and so on, I thought of having a property company called Chiparamba Enterprises. And talking about this same destitution, I saw it very early that there was need to invest into the education of my children. I have five sons. The oldest is James Rupiah Banda. The second one is Andrew Banda the famous politician, and then Henry Chikomeni Banda the one who just phoned now, then Nenani Adrian Banda and then Dingani, the youngest. 1 have a son in South Africa who was born before my marriage. His name is Mabusha Banda. He is the son of Barbara Masekela, the ambassador of South Africa to the United States. A lovely young man as well. That is probably why I am not a destitute. I gave all my children education except Mabusha. Mabusha was educated by his uncle, the famous musician, Hugh Masekela. He kept him and he educated him up to university. He also studied music and he works with his uncle. I've never had a daughter.

And what are your children doing now.

James is a successful businessman. He owns a company called Floormaster and then Andrew is an agriculturist. I trained him very well, I sent him to Israel and he came back with a bang. I was very impressed with him and I thought by now, he should be something else. But I can't blame him, his father is a politician so he decided to follow his father's footsteps.

But it appears you are not so close to Andrew like you are with your other sons like Nenani, for example?

Yes, because I've lived with the others for a long time but Andrew grew up with his mother. James, Andrew and Mabusha are from different mothers. But the three, Henry, Nenani and Dingani are from my late wife Hope Mwansa Makulu Banda, the elder sister to Stanely Makulu, whose father was the first chairman of the Public Service Commission and the University Council, the late now. But to answer your question, the reason why I don't appear to be so close to Andrew is that just like Mabusha, he didn't grow up with me. But James and the other three grew up with me. James lived with me from Egypt, he was with me in diplomatic mission until I got married. My wife found him and he got on very well with my late wife. In fact, the children didn't even know about this until much later. That answers your question.

You mentioned earlier on that your wife is no more. Do you wish to say more about that?

My wife passed away about three years ago, of cancer of the breast and hence my deep involvement in the formation of tho Breast Cancer Society of Zambia which our first lady Maureen Mwanawasa is patron of . I am one of the few men who are active in that because of that. My wife was a nurse, highly trained nurse in England. She had three high diplomas in nursing but unfortunately she was not able to practice it other than on her children because of the nature of my work.

Maybe we can now move on to soccer. Where does your involvement in soccer stan from?

I have always been interested in soccer although I never played it myself. I couldn't recall the exact date but I decided to jump on to the Football Association of Zambia (PAZ) and became its lirst vice presidenl. The structure at the time had two vice presidents. I was first vice president responsible for the team and the chairman for the technical comminee.

And who was the FAZ president at that time?

The president was Mr. Tom Mtine. And the current chairman of the sports council was my colleague. He was the other vice president of FAZ. I was the chairman of the technical comminee of the team. And you know ironically, it seems my son Nenani is now technical co-ordinator for the team. That was my responsibility as well except it was in a less sophisticated way than it is now because we didn't have any professional players.

And how do you look at the current FAZ when compared to the one you were running?

I think my views are well known about that. I think they've tried their best under very difficult conditions. There are no more huge parastalals such as the mines, they've closed. These were able to sustain football at the time. They have tried. But after saying that, the one mistake that they made which caused them most of the problems they are facing now was their decision to close the game. The game now belongs only to those who are running FAZ or those they want to be involved. The difference during our time is that we opened up the game to everybody. Anyone who wanted to participate in any way was encouraged to do so. So we had a lot of private businessmen, professional people. farmers, shopkeepers and anyone who wanted to participate in whatever way he wanted. Like inviting the players for lunch when they are preparing, or give them T-shirts on their way or farmers would bring a whole cow and let the players eat it. Everybody was involved, people from the compounds threw money at FAZ. But alas, now people think twice before they do that.

And it looks like you are also involved with your son with his Chiparamba leam and soccer academy?

Yes it looks like that because today when you came you found a lot of football kit and some players. But it's true I support him a lot because my children have always known that my wife and I have always supported whatever tbey want to do. So Nenani chose to go into football management. I must admit that at the heginning I was a bit taken aback when he told me that he wasn't going to look for ajoh in tourism or hotels beeause that's what he qualified as. He has got a degree, a BSc in business management, tourism and holels. So I was taken aback when he said he didn't want to look for a job, he wanted to do this. Because I didn't think there was scope for Ihis football management in Zambia. But I was wrong, I am seeing it now that actually that's when there is scope because football has gone down, everybody realises the need for an organised mind and organisation to support football. And I also noticed that if somebody is doing something that they really like, they perform much hetter and Nenani likes this. So the entire family, all of us supports him. The elder brother James does a lot to support his young hrother. Andrew, Henry, all of us do everything as you know he doesn't live here he lives in Johannesburg because his wife works in Johannesburg. He only comes here when he comes to inspect his academy and his team Chiparamba. But he always insists on staying with me like the good days before, in dad's house and dad likes that very much.

And your last born son lives here as well?

He stays here too. We are in a way like an Indian family. I don't want my children to leave me but I realise they must go. Well Nenani is married, he is gone. The other two are not married but I am hearing a lot of rumour about Henry in South Africa but we shall see.

Rumours about what?

About possible marriage. I will be very happy because he must open the door for his young brother because Dingani is finding it difficult to move when the big brother is not yet married.

You also told me earlier on that you are normally in Chipata. What's in Chipata?

I've got a farm in Chipata. a 460 acre farm I bought some 25 years ago for peanuts. I am learning how to farm. I surprised myself I produced 1,000 by 50 kilogramme bags of maize last season. I also grew watermelons. I grew the biggest watermelon in Chipata which was about 25 kilogramme.

Is that so? Did you take it to the agricultural show?

No I didn't. I am still a bit shy as a farmer but next time, I will. I also grew beans, soya heans and a lot of vegetables. I also have 20 herd of cattle so I drink my own milk from my cattle. I have a nephew at my farm called O1ibisa who trained as an agriculturist at PaJabana but grew up on the farm with my late father. And perhaps that's one of the reasons why I have achieved so much. He is interested in the farm, he is interested in agriculture and he also interested in football a lot. He is also chief scout for Chiparamba. He is looking out for good players for Chiparamba. in the schools in the Eastern Province.

Although we have less than five minutes before you leave for the airport, maybe we can briely talk about some politics? Where do you stand in terms of politics at the moment?

I am really a UNIPIST, what people call UNIPIST. So It's very difficult for me perhaps at my age to join another political party. But let me say this that as of now, I am quite attracted to the leadership of President Mwanawasa for several reasons but most importantly his fight against corruption and his openness. his inclusiveness to other polilical parties and listening to other political parties. They may not feel that way but he does listen, we see it. Even people who are looking from a distance feel that he does listen much more than anybody else did hefore since the heginning of multipartism. And also, the rule of law in the country is taking route in the country. I am very attracted to that.

And your views about the previous government?

The previous government? I went to prison under the precvious government. I was one of the Zero Option people and up to now my case is not over yet. We won the case in the lower court and the government appealed and the same government did not go to defend the case. They have been staying away and the case is taking nearly seven years to sort out. Many of us have since passed , they have since died and their children are destitutes.

So where do you place the previous government in terms of performance?

You know as an active UNIPIST, you know we tried our best to...to.. but you know let us also add something positive. They brought pluralism at great risk to themselves.

What do you mean at great risk to themselves?

A: It was not easy to tackle UNIP at that time. We were very strong that time, we were very categorical; if you opposed us, we normally dealt with you. It paid to belong to UNIP. But they brought plurallism, they brought press freedom and opened up he country to new investment. In 1991 the economy was almost on its knees but they brought in new investments. And the credit must go to the MMD.

Have you quit politics or do you still hope to come back?

You know I am a 67 year old man but still very healthy. I still get up at 5 am early in the morning when I am on the farm every day. I work with the labour force there. I work the whole day I am still very active, so I can not rule myself out of anything. I am still young enough to do anything.

Including active politics?

It's possible. There are older people than me in politics. But after saying all that, there are also certain leaders who is very attracted to me. One of them Is Anderson Mazoka. He has a very good mind, very well educated. I have had the privilege of meeting him personally and I find him really bright. I think anyone of them could have made a better president, the President who is there now or himself. And I mention him because he is also ill. Everyday I pray for his recovery and I think we need people like him around.

Anything you would like to add to all that you have said?

Yes. I would really like to add this that we have too beautiful country to allow it to slide into any kind of chaos. So whatever we are doing, whatever political party we belong to, the most important thing is to guard the egg in the middle which is Zambia and we must cherish it. We must not allow ourselves to slide into chaos like it has happened to our brothers and sisters in Congo DR, in Rwanda, Burundi and all these other countries. And we must also learn to wait until it's our time. We can't all be presidents of FAZ at the same time, president of a the Law Association of Zambia or President of Zambia at the same time. We have wait until it is our time and during that time we must oppose If we must oppose, we must expose like your newspaper does, whatever you think Is injurious to the people of Zambia and to Zambia. But we must also contribute to the building of this country in whatever way and especially , and my children have taught me this, to the education of the youth through their education, through their health, through their hobbies, through their talents. Because I believe that every youth has a talent, which must be nurtured and allowed to blossom. That's all I can say.

Thank you very much for sparing some time for this Interview.

A: Thank you very much my brother and I hope after this we will keep in touch.

We shall definitely be in constant touch.

Copyright 2006 The Post. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).

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