Opposition seeks to block Zambia’s Banda from vote


Zambia’s main opposition Patriotic Front (PF) party has asked the high court to block President Rupiah Banda from taking part in next month’s elections, saying he does not qualify to stand.

Zambia’s constitution requires both parents of a presidential candidate to be Zambian by birth. The PF said Banda’s father was born in what is now Malawi.

Banda dissolved parliament last month and set September 20 as the date for elections that are likely to hand him and his Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) another five years in power in Africa’s biggest copper producer, Reuters reports.

Banda’s spokesman said the attempt to block him was a diversionary tactic because both his parents were Zambian.
“Why did the PF keep quiet in 2008? Why do they want to block him from standing?” Dickson Jere said in a statement.

The PF said Banda’s nomination papers were only accepted as valid in 2008 because he said that his father and mother were born in Chipata in eastern Zambia.