UNITED Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema has urged Zambians to reject Patriotic Front (PF) leader Michael Sata in this year’s elections because he has been inconsistent on many national matters.
Mr Hichilema also said he would defeat Mr Sata in the presidential elections because the PF leader behaved as one who owns the voters and had the potential to abuse them should they make a mistake of voting for him.
He said no one was certain about Mr Sata’s position on the national Constitution but the UPND had been clear that the 50 per cent plus one threshold for a presidential candidate to be declared winner would be costly because it provided for a re-run, which was another election within a short space of time.
Mr Hichilema said Mr Sata was advocating for the clause without considering the huge amounts of money that would be spent on the exercise and asked the people to seriously consider the qualities of individuals vying for the Republican presidency.
He also said PF leaders had made it clear before the pact that the two parties formed in 2009 collapsed last month that they would win the elections on their own and it was now up to them to prove it.
“They said they are strong on their own, so why are they talking about us now. The people of Zambia are clever, they know the qualities of the different candidates,” Mr Hichilema said.He said in reaction to Saturday’s lead story in the Post newspaper, which stated that he was dishonest and was planning an alliance with the MMD.
“Sometimes when people write stories they do not even think. How can you insert a clause in the Constitution that UPND wants to form a coalition government with the MMD. Do they sit down and think before they write stories?
” Mr Hichilema said.He said some private media houses had converted themselves into Mr Sata’s “photo album and internal magazine for PF” by anointing and praising him even when he was wrong.
“Have you not seen that some people are always right? The chosen ones are always right but is it possible for anyone to be always right?” he said.
The UPND leader said Mr Sata was fond of celebrating past glory but would be shocked with the outcome of the presidential election results this year.
Mr Hichilema said Mr Sata only discussed personalities whenever he took public platforms instead of selling his manifesto.
He said Zambians would judge between him and Mr Sata, adding that the PF leader was worried about UPND because he lacked the qualities needed to promote further economic growth.
And Mr Hichilema yesterday launched his 2011 presidential election campaign bid with a promise that if elected, he would increase salaries of civil servants and ensure that they took home a minimum of K5 million each.
Addressing a rally in Kanyama Township in Lusaka, Mr Hichilema said his government would ensure that the conditions of service for teachers, police officers and other civil servants were improved.
“We shall also rejuvenate the agriculture and education systems in Zambia by ensuring food security and that Zambians access free education up to college level,” Mr Hichilema said.