FORMER president Rupiah Banda has been appointed leader of an 18-member election observer mission to the Kingdom of Lesotho for national assembly elections scheduled for May 26, 2012.
Mr Banda is based in Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States of America, where he is the current 'president-in-residence' at the Boston University African Presidential Centre.
He would head the team of influential civil society and religious representatives under the auspices of the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA), whose patron is former president of Botswana, Ketumile Masire.
Mr Banda is due to arrive in Maseru, Lesotho's capital, on Monday, May 21 where he is scheduled to meet with various stakeholders, including Lesotho's King Letsie III and Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili ahead of the elections.
"This is a huge honour that I do not take lightly. Democracy is a precious commodity in Africa and I know only too well that we must protect it," Mr Banda said in a statement released by his office in Lusaka yesterday.