UPND presidential candidate Hakainde Hichilema says those in the PF will try to falsify results for next month’s decisive vote, but: “they will fail.”

He also says: “abalefwaya ukubwelelapo pamupando banono (those who want to retain on the seat are few), while: “we are many.”

Hichilema addressed journalists at his residence in Lusaka yesterday.

“We know that the PF are desperate to remain in power. Only they know what they want to continue doing in office because the majority of Zambians have taken a decision that change must come,” Hichilema said. “For them, political office is livelihood, [but] to us political office is about service. So, they will try to rig the election to stay in office, but they will fail. They will fail! Let this election be decided by voters, not by those who count votes. It will not work, this work around! They will continue with violence…”

He appealed to the police to defend all citizens equally.

“If police don’t defend you, defend yourselves. That’s the last resort you have; that’s a constitutional right you have. Just hold on for another 32 days!” he said. “You need to protect each other. We are in the majority – the thugs are fewer, the corrupt are fewer. Abalefwaya ukubwelelapo pamupando banono (those who want to retain on the seat are few). Tuli abengi (we are many). [But] no violence! None of our members should start violence.”

He further indicated that it is important to see next month’s elections in the right context.

“They are about the people of Zambia and the difficulties they are going through. Having agreed that we are all suffering and that the status quo will damage us even further, the only choice is to effect real change,” Hichilema said. “If we were to continue with the situation as it is now, it would mean joblessness, hunger in our homes, no business opportunities for our smallest business, medicines in our hospitals will continue to be in short supply, the civil service will continue to work under the fear of PF thugs…”

The opposition leader noted that the August 12 polls would be a defining moment in Zambia’s history.

“It’s a liberation struggle for economic and social advancement. To our men and women in uniform, other civil servants, keep your eyes open – protect citizens. Refuse to carry out illegal instructions to brutalise citizens now, into the election [and] after the election,” Hichilema said.

He pledged that under a UPND government, the cost of living would be lowered.

“Goons have been hired to go on Television to argue that the cost of living in Zambia is more affordable than South Africa. What a joke! You can’t compare the price of bread in South Africa and here, based on simplicity thinking,” Hichilema said. “Cover price is not the same as the real price. Analyse the cover price and analyse the income side, on the other side. An average civil servant here gets a salary of K6,000 [but] in South Africa, a civil servant will get K25,000 to K30,000. So, how can you be so ignorant?”

He said those in the PF should not insulting the intelligence of Zambians, by alleging that the cost of living in Zambia is better than in most countries in the region.

“The cost of living here is higher than in South Africa, Tanzania, Botswana. That’s a fact and it’s settled. We’ll lower the cost of food, we’ll lower the cost of living, the cost of doing business,” Hichilema promised.

He also spoke about the skewed political environment, where those in the opposition are not allowed to campaign.

Hichilema also called Vice-President Inonge Wina’s odd campaign strategy of a debt swap as a hoax.


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