It isn’t wrong to be Malawian, says Zambian President

By Nyasa Times Reporter

Zambian President Rupiah Banda has said there is nothing wrong about being a Malawian, saying it is an African country.

Opposition Patriotic Front (PF) party of Michael Sata, the anticipated main contender against President Banda in the September 20 polls, dragged the Zambian leader’s alleged Malawian paternal ancestry dispute to the Lusaka High Court.

He is seeking an injunction to restrain him from standing as a presidential candidate.

But speaking when he visited the Zambia’s ruling MMD campaign centre in Lusaka Sunday, President Banda said he saw nothing wrong about being called a Malawian or a Zimbabwean.

Rupiah Banda and his Malawian counterpart Bingu wa Mutharika

“We are actually all Africans,” he is quoted by The Post online of Zambia.

President Banda assured the gathering that he was Zambian and that they should not worry about him.

He told journalists that the debate about his nationality was “nonsense” considering that all former Zambian heads of State, including Kenneth Kaunda, Frederick Chiluba, Levy Mwanawasa and the PF leader had been accused of having originated from other countries.

He said Sata and his party initially accused him of having hailed from Malawi and now they had changed and were claiming that his parents were Zimbabweans

Meanwhile, President Banda’s lawyers and Attorney-General have challenged the suit aimed at blocking him from seeking re-election because of his alleged foreign parentage.

One of the lawyers representing President Banda, state counsel Eric Silwamba said the PF’s civil proceedings against Banda’s parentage was “incompetent” and a “wrong mode” that could not be heard by the High Court but the full bench of the Supreme Court.

Zambia’s former High Commissioner to Malawi, Milton Phiri, recently claimed President Banda’s father — the late Bwezani Banda — was a Malawian immigrant labourer.

Meanwhile, Zambian court on Tuesday cleared President Rupiah Banda to take part in next month’s elections.

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