UPND president Hakainde Hichilema and his entourage yesterday arrived to a thunderous welcome in Chiengi District, Luapula province having concluded successful campaign meetings in Kaputa earlier in the day.
Mr. Hichilema was met by local political heavyweights, who are also senior headman in the area, and former Finance Minister, Dr Katele Kalumba.
Mr. Hichilema immediately paid a courtesy call on Senior Chief Puta of the Bwile people who blessed him before having a private conversation with him.
Later Mr. Hichilema and Mr. Kalumba addressed cheering crowds in Chiengi and reiterated the need for investment in the tourism and fish industry in the area owing to the massive water bodies.
“Luapula has a lot of potential in terms of tourism and fishing industries. We need to find investors in these sectors who can set-up state of the art lodges and hotels so as to create employment for the local communities”, Mr. Hichilema said.
He also said there was need to combat the problem of mosquitoes and tsetse-flies that were causing human and animal diseases.
Later in the evening, Mr. Hichilema met the sub-chief and more that 50 headmen from the entire Bwile land.
The headmen complained that the PF had been very vindictive in the manner they have been handling matters of traditional leadership in the country.
They reiterated that matters to do with traditional leadership, such as selection of chiefs should be left to the traditional counsel.
The representative told Mr. Hichilema that it was the first time in the history of this country that government was directly interfering in the choosing of chiefs, yet that should be a preserve of the senior traditional council.
The headmen complained about the PF government which they said had been fighting their Chief Puta and pledged to go flat out to campaign for the UPND in the entire Bwile land.
They were also not happy with the way the PF government have treated issues surrounding Katele Kalumba who they feel was cheated.
“Takuli nokutina apa. Tuleya muminshi yesu tukabeba ati tulefwa HH and UPND (there will be no hiding in our campaigns. We are going in our villages and urges people to vote for Hichilema and UPND)” they said.
This morning, the UPND leader is meeting more than 40 political leaders from PF, and MMD in the area who have pledged to campaign for the UPND.
Mr. Hichilema will later travel to Mwansabombwe, Nchelenge, Kawambwa and Mporokoso, before Chinsali, Mpika, Kasama and Luwingu this weekend.