Kaunda puts his money on Rupiah Banda

LUSAKA - Zambia's liberation hero, Kenneth Kaunda, has endorsed acting president Rupiah Banda ahead of an election later this month, state media reported yesterday.

LUSAKA - Zambia's liberation hero, Kenneth Kaunda, has endorsed acting president Rupiah Banda ahead of an election later this month, state media reported yesterday.

Former president Kaunda said Banda, and not opposition leader Michael Sata of the Patriotic Front (PF), who has been drawing huge crowds at his campaign rallies, would make a good president.

"I am happy with the leadership skills shown by the acting president," state radio quoted Kaunda as saying, adding he hoped Banda would continue holding office.

"He (Sata) is good as governor and minister but I don't think he can work as a president. I don't hate him, but if voters elect him, it is their own fault," the Sunday Timesquoted Kaunda as saying.

Banda became acting president after the death in August of Levy Mwanawasa.

Analysts say Kaunda's comments might swing a few votes to Banda. No clear favourite has emerged ahead of the October 30 presidential poll.

The newspaper also reported that the electoral commission of Zambia said the budget for the poll would be R500million.

Finance minister Ngandu Magande said last month he expected the cost of the poll to widen the budget deficit beyond the projected 1,2 percent of GDP. - Reuters

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