Opposition UPND president Hakainde Hichilema said he was humbled with the massive support he received yesterday during his court appearance in Kitwe High Court on the Copperbelt.
Mr. Hichilema says he was particularly humbled with the reception he got from miners commonly known as Jerobos, the same people who wanted to kill him during his radio appearance in Ndola’s Sun FM radio.
Mr. Hichilema was accompanied with a long convoy of vehicles by the Jerabos chanting aleisa aleisa is in Kitwe for court appearance in a matter in which he is charged with contempt of court over his remarks on the Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda.
And one of the Jerabos representative said they were misled to go and attack Mr. Hichilema in Ndola last time, an action in which they regretted and apologised.
“We were sent and misled to attack you sir. We sincerely apologise and regret our actions. We promise to protect you each time you come to the Copperbelt. You are now a freeman of the Copperbelt and we are going to mount a massive recruitment for UPND on the Copperbelt,” said one the youths.
In response Mr. Hichilema told supporters and jerobos that he had a big heart and immediately hugged his attackers and forgave them.
In several other meetings held on the Copperbelt, the UPND leader said he fully sympathised with the poverty levels in the area, especially on the failure by mine contractors to pay workers salaries on time.
“I know there were some riots in some towns on the Copperbelt last week because of delayed payments of salaries and government is doing nothing to intervene. This situation is unacceptable under a caring government. But we know PF have no leadership currently and they just cheated you,” he told the supporters.
Hichilema said he was in Kitwe at short notice for court appearance and promised to be going there more often so that he could fully provide the missing leadership on the Copperbelt and in Zambia.
“Zambia is currently in a serious crisis. We don’t even know where our president is. All his ministers and collaborators are on each other’s neck fighting each other at the expense of working to alleviate the people’s suffering. As you UPND, we have now been vindicated. They used to say we wish president Michael Sata ill and wanted to take-over government before 2016. You have now seen revelations among themselves that they are the ones that are scheming to remove Mr. Sata before 2016 elections.
Mr. Hichilema said the evil elements that were fighting to unseat Mr. Sata were within the PF as revealed by themselves.
“I call on president Sata also to come out and address the crisis that has been created as a result of the vacuum he has created in the country due to his absence. People are suffering and he can’t continue hiding and allegedly working in secrecy when mealie meal prices are too high despite the so called bumper harvest,” he told the cheering supporters and Jerabos.