Written By:PMPS, Posted: Sat, Sep 24, 2011
|The celebrations went on in Lusaka long after the results were announced.(Photo BBC)|
Kenya Prime Minister Raila Odinga has congratulated newly elected President of Zambia Mr Michael Sata and lauded the country's outgoing leader Mr Rupiah Banda for conceding defeat.
Speaking in London on his way to the UN General Assembly meeting in New York, Mr Odinga congratulated Mr Banda for steering his party into conceding defeat, and for steering Zambia through a second democratic, largely peaceful transfer of power from one party to another.
"I join other leaders in congratulating President Sata on his decisive win in the just concluded polls, the outgoing President Banda for showing statesmanship and providing leadership at the critical moment in the life of his country and the people of Zambia for choosing peace and democracy in the ballot as a means of changing leadership. I wish the people and their new leader well in the years ahead, "Mr. Odinga said.
"For those of us who refuse to buy the idea that Africa is a lost cause, who cling to the hope that the 21st Century could be Africa's, every democratic election and peaceful transfer of power on the Continent emboldens our belief and presents us with the reason to hope even more that our struggling countries are on the right path towards a full transition to democracy. The people and leadership of Zambia have done the continent proud and given us hope by what they achieved in this election, "Odinga added.
He appealed to the people of Zambia to put aside whatever differences that may have cropped in during the electioneering period and join hand in rebuilding their country, now that the elections are over.
The PM said Zambia could play a significant role in helping stabilise the southern Africa region and aiding the spread of democracy in that part of the continent.
He said the people of Zambia should have no problem working together, saying outgoing president Banda had shown them the way by conceding defeat, congratulating the winner and wishing him and the country weel.