UNITED Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema has said claims by Patriotic Front (PF) leader Michael Sata that he has become more popular in places like Western Province are not correct and lack foundation.
Mr Hichilema said the people of Western Province and the rest of Zambia were aware about Mr Sata’s character and lack of vision for the country and would, therefore, not waste time voting for him.
He said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that Mr Sata’s supporters were announcing fake defections of UPND and MMD members in Western and Southern provinces when it wascommon knowledge that the PF leader would come last in these areas.
Mr Hichilema said Mr Sata was lying to the people of Western Province that he would recognise the Barotseland Agreement of 1964 because he thought they were naïve and had forgotten that he rejected the same agreement in the past, apart from threatening to recommend withdrawal of the Government’s recognition of the Litunga.
He said Mr Sata would be shocked with the outcome of the 2011 presidential polls because contrary to the propanda in The Post newspaper that he was the favourite candidate, he would come out last in the race.
He said The Post, which he described as an information wing of Mr Sata and the PF, was cheating every day that Mr Sata was a popular politician and yet election results would prove otherwise.
Mr Hichilema said the PF leader’s popularly had gone down in every part of Zambia, including Lusaka where he was popular in the previous elections.
He said it was good that The Post was de-campaigning him because the newspaper had been associated with losing candidates for many years.
He said The Post newspaper had launched a similar campaign against the late UPND president Anderson Mazoka but started praising him in their editorial comments soon after he died.
Mr Hichilema said The Post should be prepared to resuscitate Mr Sata after the elections because he would be overwhelmed by shock.
The UPND and PF ran a pact that collapsed in March after procedural differences on the election of the presidential candidate, and both Mr Sata and Mr Hichilema had been making endless accusations against each other.
The PF has lately claimed that it is popular in areas that were generally considered strongholds of the MMD and UPND.
But Mr Hichilema said it was impossible for Mr Sata to win this year’s elections anywhere in Zambia because he lacked credibility, skill, knowledge and vision to steer Zambia to economic prosperity.
“The people of Zambia will vote for credible leaders and not Mr Sata who thinks he is popular because the PF information wing, The Post newspaper has been writing lies that our leaders had resigned in Western and Southern provinces.
“I am just coming from there and our leadership is intact. They forget that we have got cell phones now and people are calling each other to establish whether such a person has really resigned,” Mr Hichilema said.
Meanwhile, the ruling party on the Copperbelt has said it is saddening to note that some politicians who were on record as having told the nation that Mr Sata was a thug were now supporting him.
MMD provincial spokesperson, Yotam Mtayachalo said in Ndola yesterday that politicians like Edith Nawakwi, Rodger Chongwe, Derrick Chitala, Ludwig Sondashi and George Mpombo had stated in the past that Mr Sata was a thug who hacked people in Lusaka’s Chawama Township and that he was an illiterate who would take Zambia 100 years backwards.
He said the MMD on the Copperbelt was surprised to see that they had now turned round and were shamelessly supporting the same man they called names and wondered whether Mr Sata had reformed for them to have a change of heart.
Mr Mtayachalo said the MMD on the Copperbelt was monitoring the unfolding political events in Zambia and was saddened to see the same politicians who failed Zambians before wanting to ride on poor people’s backs to achieve their selfish motives.
He said such politicians had no morals and had no interest of the country at heart because they would not have ganged up to de-campaign President Rupiah Banda who had achieved a lot for the country in the two-and-a-half years he had been president.
Times of Zambia