We won’t boycott elections and leave leadership to drunkard – HH

We won’t boycott elections and leave leadership to drunkard – HH

13161698_1091577124257775_6897226979304420738_oWE cannot boycott the coming elections and leave the country in the hands of a drunkard whose preoccupation is socialising and going to nightclubs, says UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema. President Lungu on Friday said opposition political parties who are uncomfortable with the work of the Electoral Commission of Zambia should boycott the coming elections.

“Let me point out that I believe in the ECZ, the Electoral Commission of Zambia; they are one of the best in the region and in Africa and have never been found wanting. So those who are fearing that there will be rigging are actually trying to find an excuse for their loss, the writing is on the wall,” said President Lungu on arrival in Livingstone where he went to officiate at the World Farmers Organisation general assembly, adding that the opposition should not participate in the August 11 general elections if they are not ready.

But Hichilema says the presidency cannot be left to drunkards like President Lungu and warned that imposing the Dubai-based company to print ballot papers so that the PF could win the elections would not be tolerated. “My message to him is that he will be disappointed if he expects us to boycott elections. Let him forget it. He believes that he can lure us into boycotting so that he can survive in the presidency. He knows he is gone. He is very aware, even his own people around him have told him that ‘bwana, sakilani tundalama tun’gono muguleko ka nyumba (Look for money to buy a house) otherwise you are going.

He is aware that he is exiting on account that he has failed to run the country,” Hichilema said. “The presidency cannot be left in the hands of a reckless person like Edgar Lungu who only enjoys socialising and going to nightclubs. It is common knowledge that Lungu is a drunkard, and we are not going to boycott the elections so that the country remains in his hands.” He said Zambians will not allow PF to impose the Dubai-based company to print the ballot papers. “My second message is that he will not impose a Dubai printing company for ballot papers so that they can assist him in the election to do dubious arrangements. He will not do that and he will not impose that. Citizens will not agree to the Dubai printing company, citizens will not agree to fiddle with the elections. Citizens want a free, fair, transparent and credible election. He knows that under that environment, he is gone on account of failure to deliver. Lungu must not be afraid of losing office, we will give him a safe passage unlike him who has been teargassing citizens, the opposition, and arresting us…we will give him a safe passage. I know that is his worry,”

Hichilema said. “ I a m assuring him that we will g i v e him safe passage, he will go and rest wherever he wants to go and rest in Zambia and spend more time to socialise, since he likes socialising a lot. He enjoys nightclubs, so let him socialise and we will then focus on running the economy and the country.” He said President Lungu’s failures were evident to every citizen. “Everything in this country is negative. We have the worst budget fiscal deficit; he has blown our resources into negative position. We have an energy deficit because of his poor and incompetent leadership. We have a food deficit, high cost of food because of this reckless export of maize. He was even denying the export story, but now we thank the media for exposing this export of maize to other countries without looking at the needs of the local people,” Hichilema said. “It’s like a neighbour who has no mealie-meal and the only tin of mealie-meal he has gives it to someone else and his children sleep hungry because they cannot afford to buy food.”

He said UPND, if elected into office, will have a lot of work turning the country’s economy around. “Lungu will see that he will pay a lower price of mealie-meal because of our good agricultural policies. He will see that many of his relatives who cannot afford to pay school fees for their children will be taken care of; the vulnerable children and the orphans. Lungu will see that we will cut the cost of building roads from one million dollars to less than half of a million dollars per kilometre of the road. He will see that we will cure the corruption in the fuel and fertiliser procurement. He will see that we will heal the corruption in the electricity procurement. He will enjoy a better life as a citizen under the UPND leadership; I am assuring him of that. Let him not fear,” Hichilema said. “Lungu looks like a frightened man, that is why he is now trying to find solace in us boycotting elections – no, no, no! We are all going into this election but we w a n t t h e E l e c t o r a l Commission of Zambia to do t h e r i g h t things.” A n d H i c h i l e m a said no one on t h e Copperbelt will listen to P r e s i d e n t Lungu’s plea to trust him. “President Lungu has pleaded with voters on the Copperbelt to t r u s t h i m following reports of growing opposition strength in the area. But what has Lungu ever done for Zambians to trust him? You must give people reasons to trust you.

Often, this will be on the basis of certain personal qualities or your track record based on past performance. So what has he done for the people of C o p p e r b e l t ? ” H i c h i l e m a wondered. “Here is where the problem lies for our President: broken promises and betrayal have been routine for the PF on the Copperbelt and across the country over the past five years. Lungu himself has fallen down publicly on this measure by assuring miners that they would not lose their jobs just weeks before thousands of them were declared redundant.” Meanwhile, speaking at his residence on Friday when he welcomed George Mpombo, who disbanded his party to join the UPND, Hichilema said Lungu was an embarrassment to the region. “I was having a meeting very early in the morning in Johannesburg before I got on my flight [on Friday morning] and this colleague was saying to me that, ‘you Zambians, what is the issue? How is it that out of the over 15 million Zambians, you can’t choose good leadership? You are embarrassing everybody in the region, you are embarrassing yourselves’,” said Hichilema. “Zambia is on a verge of

“Lungu looks like a frightened man, that is why he is now trying to find solace in us boycotting elections – no, no, no! We are all going into this election but we w a n t t h e E l e c t o r a l Commission of Zambia to do t h e r i g h t things.” A n d H i c h i l e m a said no one on t h e Copperbelt will listen to P r e s i d e n t Lungu’s plea to trust him following reports of growing opposition strength in the area.

But what has Lungu ever done for Zambians to trust him? You must give people reasons to trust you. Often, this will be on the basis of certain personal qualities or your track record based on past performance. So what has he done for the people of C o p p e r b e l t ? ” H i c h i l e m a wondered. “Here is where the problem lies for our President: broken promises and betrayal have been routine for the PF on the Copperbelt and across the country over the past five years. Lungu himself has fallen down publicly on this measure by assuring miners that they would not lose their jobs just weeks before thousands of them were declared redundant.” Meanwhile, speaking at his residence on Friday when he welcomed George Mpombo, who disbanded his party to join the UPND, Hichilema said Lungu was an embarrassment to the region. “I was having a meeting very early in the morning in Johannesburg before I got on my flight [on Friday morning] and this colleague was saying to me that, ‘you Zambians, what is the issue? How is it that out of the over 15 million Zambians, you can’t choose good leadership? You are embarrassing everybody in the region, you are embarrassing yourselves’,” said Hichilema. “Zambia is on a verge of collapsing, Zambia is on a cliff edge and I want to urge those of you who are in the UPND that we have a very serious obligation. First is to unite the country which is divided, to accommodate people that come into this party and not feel that someone has come to take up our space. For me who grew up in the village, an extra hand allows you to raise more dust, it allows you to produce more maize, so today is a similar thing; an extra hand allows you to move closer to uniting this country which is divided and we must take these issues very, very seriously… Imagine if we allowed the PF to be in government up to 2019, what will happen to this country? Just imagine.”

And Mpombo said the UPND was the only party that had capacity to dislodge the PF in the August 11 general elections. “I want to fully support the candidature of president HH and in the process I want to say that my party gets disbanded. It is not strange that I have taken this step because I am actually coming back to the party that I helped to build, so I am not new because I am simply coming back home,” said Mpombo. “I know that people might think my getting to the UPND is a matter of political trotting no, it’s based on the strong belief that HH has the necessary pizzaz and zip and the gusto to lead the country out of economic and political imbroglio.”

 

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