VETERAN politician Vernon Mwaanga has said there is no compelling reason for change in this year’s elections because the MMD and President Rupiah Banda have performed exceptionally well to warrant re-election in the September 20 presidential and general elections.
And Mr Mwaanga has maintained his earlier prediction that President Banda will win this year’s elections. Mr Mwaanga, who is immediate past Government chief whip in Parliament, said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that the MMD Government had performed exceptionally well even under adverse economic circumstances like the recent world economic recession.
“People cannot just advocate for change because some change can be negative change. Given the present set of circumstances in Zambia where the MMD and President Banda have performed well, there is every reason for the people to demand and vote for continuity so that the Government can continue with the good policies.
“The economic record of this Government is such that they have performed very well, the economy has been growing at an average of 6.6 per cent. The foreign exchange reserves have also grown while inflation is recorded at a single digit,” he said.
He said the MMD Government had built schools, hospitals, roads and other infrastructure.
Mr Mwaanga said the country’s economy was performing well as demonstrated by the recent reclassification into a middle-income country and the other ratings by international organisations.
“So what would be the compelling reason for change? I have faith that come September 20, Zambians will make the right decision to vote for President Banda,” he said.
He said it would be folly for some people to demand for change when the Government was performing.
“The kind of development and economic boom currently obtaining in the country is what some of us were advocating for in 1991,” he said.
On the announcement of the election date, Mr Mwaanga said there was need for political parties to commit themselves to peaceful campaigns during and after the polls.
“My hope and prayer now that the date of elections has been announced and nominations day set is that the political parties will behave in a responsible and constructive way so that the country can have peaceful elections.
“Democracy in our country is a growing industry and it is obvious to me that a number of political players are excited about going to participate in the elections. I hope that the excitement shouldn’t degenerate into irresponsible acts,” he said.
He said Zambia had been a beacon of political light not only to the region but to the world as a whole.
“Elections are not about violence or war but about competing ideas so that our master, the people of Zambia, can be given the final say on the leaders they want to see lead the country.
“I hope that Zambians will shun political parties that will engage themselves in violence. I also hope that the parties taking part in these elections can commit themselves to accept the outcome of the elections.
There will always be a winner and a loser but the biggest winner is democracy and that is what some of us fought for,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Mwaanga has maintained his prediction that President Banda will win this year’s elections.
He has, however, advised the ruling party against being complacent by campaign strategically and methodically.
.”I just want to urge my colleagues not to be complacent but we mustcampaign methodically and strategically,” he said.