UPND president declared today’s successful rally in Lusaka’s Kabwata Basic school ground as victory for democracy in Zambia and the start of the long journey to reclaim freedoms.
Mr. Hichilema thanked the huge crowd that braved stones and other weapons from PF hooligans by turning out for the meeting that the PF attempted to stop earlier in the morning.
He said PF and its leadership have a history of known violence as people still remember the people who commanded the Chawama massacre and the abduction of a Mr. Zulu from InterContinental Hotel not long ago.
Mr Hichilema said he is aware that the PF hooligans running the government do not want to allow people to meet because they are afraid of being reminded of their failures in fulfilling election promises.
He declared that as UPND they will not stop meeting the people even if it means being arrested more than 200 times as the country cannot be destroyed by a few failed people who have no plan on running the country.
“Today we have beaten a record and back-borne of Sata’s dictatorship by having a successful rally against their wish. And I urge all opposition parties and civil society organisations to starting holding meetings from today on-wards. I have signed a warranty today allowing you to hold your meetings. Just make sure you are peaceful,” Mr. Hichilama told the cheering crowd.
“What we gave ourselves in 2011 is gon’ga (fake) government that wants to suppress us, but we should we reclaim our democracy and political freedoms back by freely holding meetings as the PF were a temporal regime that would be kicked out in 2016,” he said.
Mr. Hichilema said people now know that PF leadership were merely a bunch of selfish people that had no interest of the people and they do not want us to hold meetings and remind them.
“You are all aware that Mr. Micheal Sata has given his wife K1.5 billion and has jumped the queue by paying himself retirement package when there are so many retired citizens who have not been paid their money. There is currently no oxygen at UTH and premature children and many operations are on hold while Mr. Sata has paid himself the retirement home and given money to his wife.
We are all paying a heavy price of putting a wrong government in place which has caused serious mealie meal shortages for the first time since 1990s,” Mr. Hichilema said.
He accused the PF regime of being responsible for the current high mealie meal prices because in their poor planning, they exported more maize than the national requirement because they didn’t know that what was actually in the maize sheds was rotten maize.
Mr. Hichilema said there was no need of blaming mealie meal smugglers to DRC for the current shortages and high prices because any right thinking government would actually take advantage of the current demand for the commodity by producing more for export and generate revenue for the country.
“Since they are rebasing everything, we shall also rebase them as we cannot have a government that is perpetually blaming everything on other people.
Whenever there is a problem in the country PF blame somebody such as millers, and now they are blaming fertilizer suppliers over lack of fertilizer in-puts to farmers”, he said.
He said it was scandalous to have farmers sharing pockets of seed and fertilizer.
Mr. Hichilema, who had to depend on the stand-by generator as power was disconnected to the rally venue, said youth unemployment is even worse now, and things like electricity load shedding was getting worse because of putting people in power who have no plans.
“We will keep reminding them that they promised to remove ZNBC TV license but to date they have not done so.
They promised more medicine in hospitals but the situation is getting worse yet they are fighting among themselves as to who is the most corrupt in their team and these are the things they don’t want us to hold meetings and remind them. As a country we jumped from flying pan into fire,” he said.
He told the cheering crowd not to be intimidated by police presence at the rally because the majority of the men and women in uniform are good people except for a few cadre in police uniform.
Earlier political activist Dante Saunders called on Zambians never to allow the country to go back to one party state again.
Mr. Saunders said if Mr. Sata was indeed allergic to corruption he would have died of corruption allerge because there is too much corruption going on in PF government.
He said there was need for a constitution that allows people to remove a failed leadership even people their term of office.
Mr. Saunders thanked Mr. Hichilema and the UPND leadership for starting a move that will reclaim people’s freedoms by defying police and PF ban on rallies and meeting in order to oppress the people.
Edwin Sakala of ZDDM called on Zambians to remove fear and be courageous enough as some of the people currently administering and controlling institutions of justice were among those that were implicated of serious financial irregularities.
Former Katombora MP Regina Musokotwane called on Sata’s wife to correctly advise the husband as it was shameful that the PF regime that has sent many of their relatives in diplomatic service was now sending other people’s children to maim and injure other citizens that wanted to freely meet.