Master of Ceremonies, Chairperson of the Party, Mr. Vice President-Political, senior Party Officials, Alliance partners, my beloved UPND members from all over Zambia, media representatives, and ladies and gentlemen, please allow me to recognise my friend, fellow businessman and the new Vice President- Administration Hon. Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba.
Congratulations GBM. The UPND NMC overwhelmingly voted for you as Vice President-Administration. GBM you are more than welcome.
On behalf of this great democratic Party, this fast growing progressive Party, let me express my deepest gratitude for the privilege of addressing you all at this historic press conference.
The UPND seeks to build a united, prosperous, peaceful and democratic Zambia with equal opportunities for all. We will achieve this by accelerating national development through sustainable use of resources for the well-being of all Zambians. To do this the UPND will need the support of all the well-meaning and progressive Zambians.
GBM is today making a landmark move to go beyond just supporting UPND, to go beyond just supporting my candidature for the Office of President in 2016, he has accepted the UPND’s offer to serve as my Vice President-Administration.
GBM many thanks for joining our team. You bring strength, motivation and inspiration. I have no doubt in my mind that together we will lift UPND to even greater heights.
To you all dear friends GBM has not resigned from the PF, a Party he tirelessly helped to build, GBM is being appointed under the culture being promoted by PF of appointing Members of other parties to carry out PF Party functions. We have all seen this PF policy at work in Eastern Province where Hon Vincent Mwale and now Minister for Youths and Child Development who was appointed Campaign Manager for Hon Jack Shuma, the newly elected MP for Malambo Constituency, where MMD members were adopted as PF Candidates.
We as UPND have seen that we can also work with GBM. This is why we are returning the gesture.
GBM you have been warmly received and we look forward to a very fruitful and constructive working relationship.
May I also thank the NMC for approving the following names in our Party that is very inclusive.
Our new Secretary General is Hon. Stephen Katuka, the MP for Mwinilunga Constituency in North-Western Province.
Hon. Katuka is such a loyal and hardworking member we believe will add vigour to our party.
I would also like to thank our Former Secretary General Winstone Chibwe who diligently served the Party until he started having some health challenges. We have been in touch with Mr. Chibwe and this appointment has been made with his full blessing. We wish him well and a quick recovery as he we pray for him.
May I also congratulate and thank Watson Lumba who has been confirmed as Treasure General of our great Party. Hon. Lumba has been our MP for Solwezi and has been very loyal.
Allow me to also congratulate Ms. Gladys Tavaris and Ms. Doreen Mwamba who have joined the Women’s Committee to assist Ms. Namakau Kabwiku.
Last but not least, we have Mr. Namukolo, former PF Provincial Chairperson who has been elected as our new Party Trustee.
All these join a dedicated and diverse team from all parts of Zambia that seek to economically liberate Zambia.
Dear Friends why is UPND an attractive Party? First of all it is who we are and secondly it is what we stand for. Our values best describe who we are and these are
- Patriotism on National Issues
- Fundamental Freedoms & Liberties For All
- National Unity
- Social Justice
What are our core objectives?
- Eradication of Poverty (Wealth Creation)
- Job Creation
- Empowerment of Women and the Youth
- Technology-based Economy (ICT, biotechnology & sustainable development)
- Security and Good Neighbourliness
- Export-oriented Economy (Industrialisation)
- Education & Change of Mindset
Here is the part of the UPND Promise
- To eradicate Poverty (Wealth Creation)
- To create jobs
- To empower women and the youth
- To create a Technology-based Economy (ICT, biotechnology & sustainable development)
- To foster security and good neighbourliness
- To promote an export-oriented economy (manufacturing)
SUMMARY of GBM’S ACCEPTANCE SPEECH
22 July 2015
Master of Ceremonies, Mr President, Chairperson, Mr Vice President-Political, senior UPND party officials, Alliance partners, UPND members, the Media, and country men and women, firstly let me thank the UPND through its National Management Committee (NMC) for appointing me to the position of Vice President- Administration. It is such an honour to serve you in this manner. I am humbled that you have chosen to place your faith and trust in me. I accept this offer whole heartedly.
This appointment is a responsibility that I do not take lightly and I will endeavour to do the utmost to advance the cause of this great party which I have no doubt will form the next government in a few months times. Mr President, thank you very much for this appointment.
From the onset let me say I have not committed any illegality by exercising my right of association. Just like PF adopted UPND deputy ministers who are not just doing government work as ministers but are PF party campaign managers in by-elections and attend PF party meetings, it is within my rights to accept to serve under you Sir.
The question that many people might be asking is why I have decided to work with UPND. Firstly, in 2011 when we were campaigning to wrestle power from MMD, we made a number of promises to the people of Zambia which I honestly believed we were going to fulfil under the leadership of the late Michael Chilufya Sata (MHSRIP). Such promises included job creation, more money in people’s pockets and lower taxes. The legacy of Sata focused on helping the poor, ending poverty, fighting corruption and bringing development to all parts of the country. These are the ideals that compelled me to be part of the team then, a team that was going to improve the living standards of our people. This was the vision of Micheal Sata which our people voted for en-mass in 2011. This vision has been abandoned by the current PF of Edgar Lungu. Edgar’s vision is ”Wako NI Wako”. His allegiance is now to people who had no idea what PF stood.
Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, it is unimaginable that Hon. Kaingu, a man who tore to pieces Sata’s speech in Parliament is now rewarded with a Cabinet position. Dora Siliya who was found wanting by the Courts of Law is now a PF MP and so is Kapembwa Simbao. The PF took these fellows to court on corruption charges, they were found guilty, Parliament dismissed them but Edgar’s PF brought them back. Is this the way to fight corruption? Is this not a mockery of Democracy? Surely this is endorsing corruption. The PF has indeed admitted by these very corrupt acts that it is a Government of the Corrupt by the Corrupt for the Corrupt. What a shame? When the Post exposes corruption, Fred Meembe is arrested and locked up. Where is Press freedom?
Country men and women, the election of Edgar Chagwa Lungu was marred with violence and all sorts of illegalities. PF cadres were turned against each other; some top leaders were not allowed to participate in the PF convention. Founder members like Dr. Hon. Guy Scott, the then Acting President, Hon. Wilbur Simuusa, Hon. Emanuel Chenda, Hon. Sylvia Masebo, Hon. Bob Sichinga and Hon. Mwansa Kapeya were barred from taking part. Edgar Lungu is the only Party President who was elected by acclamation ignoring the Party constitution and embracing lawlessness and hooliganism. He assumed power by brutality, hooliganism and thuggery.
This same brutality and thuggery that Edgar Lungu used to usurp power is the same brutality and thuggery that he is using to run the country, it is the same thuggery that is being perpetrated during bye-elections and just last week we saw it being used against you Mr President.
Many innocent PF cadres have been killed by their own PF colleagues; some were shot at, some stabbed and maimed, many who survived have deep scars which will remain to tell the PF story…… frankly it is a very sad story written in blood. I cannot continue to support such a Party which does not value human life.
Fellow countrymen and women, this PF Government is deliberately promoting tribal divisions in this country. This is done deliberately and purely for selfish reasons, creating imaginary hatred between tribes and ethnic lines. History will show you that Zambian tribes have always worked together politically from pre-independence times. We should all wonder why all of a sudden tribalism has become an issue under this PF Government. Let’s reject this tribal nonsense. We are all one in Zambia. Our tribe is Zambian. Let’s show this PF that we cannot be made to fight each other, brother against brothers and sister against sister using tribal politics. We can all work together for the common good of this country.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the other question might be why support UPND and not any other Opposition Party? The answer is simple, just like President HH says, “I am not in politics to enrich myself but to help rescue our country from total collapse. We cannot fold our arms and watch our country go into flames as a result of political mismanagement. Prosperity will judge us harshly if we do not stand up to stop this rot”. I also honestly admire the calibre and quality of UPND and its Alliance Partners, I am convinced together we can do things in a better way. We will surely not be short of manpower to turn around the fortunes of this country.
As I wind up give me a few minutes to remind you of the sad state of affairs in the country under this PF mismanagement and why we need to bring in the UPND Government under HH;
- The Kwacha has dropped in value against major currencies from K4.5 against 1USD in 2011 to K7.8 today. Never in the history of this country has the Kwacha lost value so quickly. PF where are you taking this country?
- The crippling debt that is stifling growth in Zambia
- Look at the massive unemployment levels in the country? It’s virtually impossible today for a youth from university or college to find a decent job. The jobs promised to the youths are nowhere in sight. I do not see any future for our youths under PF.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
- Look at the misuse of taxpayers money through numerous bye-elections which only end up recycling the same disgraced individuals,
- There are no drugs in hospitals.
- Schools are without books and universities have no money to run smoothly. As of today the Copperbelt University is closed.
- Unprecedented power outages is the order of the day; factories and mines are now operating at low levels, students cannot study well in secondary schools and universities. Workers are idling most of the time because of lack of power. PF where are you taking the country? Do you have a vision?
The lack of confidence in our economy, the growing level of lawlessness, the increased hooliganism, the lack of policy direction and the confusion within PF ranks tells us that this country needs to be rescued and who can better do this for us now? Of course UPND under the leadership of HH, a proven Economic Manager. I have no doubt that UPND under HH will:
- Expand Zambia’s economy and raise living standards to achieve prosperity for all.
- Modernize Zambia to make it a cost effective environment for investment, business and improve the general welfare of citizens
- Get people into work and provide security for those who can’t work.
- Build strong and safe communities by safeguarding our rich culture and tackling crime.
- Make Zambia a strong regional economic player by making foreign policy work for Zambia’s trade, tourism and technology transfer.
This is why I cannot hesitate to support you Sir. This is why I cannot hesitate to work with this fast-growing Party, the UPND.
To the thousands that have come from every corner of this country. I can see that every Province is represented here. The messages of solidarity on your banners will remain a great inspiration to me. Your songs of solidarity are a great motivation to me. Thank you very much for this wonderful reception and support. This is my promise, I will not let you down.
To my supporters in Kasama, I want to assure you that I will continue to stand by you, to support you and remain loyal to you my family. It is such a blessing to belong together. I will soon be coming home to personally thank you.
As I end my speech let me urge all well-meaning Zambians to rally behind UPND under the able leadership of HH. He is or best hope now. To my colleagues in other political parties, this is the time we need to unity and work together to remove the corrupt and wasteful PF Government. Zambians will appreciate us more by putting aside our perceived differences and work as a united team for the good of our people.
Lastly, let me thank my family and friends for their unending support. To you all thank you. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you as your Vice President.