In 1991, Zambia became a multi-party state. Last week, the party that was responsible for this was swept out of office after 20 years in power.
The name Rupiah Banda will go down in history : the man showed much grace and statesmanship when he accepted defeat and gracefuly bowed out, declaring: “The people of Zambia have spoken and we must listen to them …we never rigged, we never cheated, we never knowingly abused state funds. We simply did what was best for Zambia.”
The maturity of Zambian politicians is noteworthy : Kenneth Kaunda in 1991 accepted defat and queitly and proudly went into retirement.
Banda’s words put Mwai Kibaki of Kenya to shame. In 2007 he refused to hand over to Raila Odinga who beat him hands down.
In 2008, Robert Mugabe, that senile old man refused to accept defeat and is running his country bankrupt at dizzying speed.
Are the other so-called “Big Men” of Africa paying attention ? I doubt it.