The King Center welcomed His Excellency Rupiah Banda to The King Center today. Banda served as President from 2008 to 2011. Prior to the 2011 election Banda spoke out against potential violence, saying:
"We, the Zambian people, are proud of our democracy and the fact that we are a nation of peace and stability. Nobody will be allowed to smear the good reputation of our country during these next few days. The world is watching us. Election observers are amongst us. Journalist will be reporting on how we conduct ourselves. Let us not disappoint them as violence has no place in a democracy.
Fellow Zambians, I know that you will welcome these visitors into our country. Be hospitable and show them respect. Show them that Zambians are friendly people who respect the law. Show them that we respect the democratic process. Show them that we are mature enough to accept the official results - whatever they may be.
We all have just one vote. Democracy gives each person the same status. A manager and his workers all have just one vote each. A chief and a shepherd have just one vote each. And I, as President, have a single vote. On election day, we are all equal."
The King Center CEO, Bernice A. King greeted the Zambian delegation (pictured from left to right above: Ambassador Charles Stith, Bernice King, His Excellency Rupiah Banda, Dr. Richard Chembe), followed by a wreath laying at the crypt of Dr. and Mrs. King.