UPND President Hakainde Hichilema today filed his nomination for the presidency in the upcoming 11 August 2016 election, announcing his running mate UPND VP Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba at the same occasion.
Below is an abridged version of the speech HH gave to supporters after filing:
‘Thank you for joining us here today on this momentous occasion. I am once again humbled by your support and encouragement. It is truly a great motivator to our teams as we prepare to embark on lengthy tours across the country to deliver our message to as many Zambians as possible before 11 August 2016.
To those of you who have supported us in the past, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. To those of you who are yet to make a final decision, let me appeal to you that voting for UPND will be a vote worth casting. This election is not about promises alone, but promises from people that have a plan.
We all know the great potential of our country. But over the years with dashed hopes, unmet expectations, empty promises and a failure to follow words with actions many of our fellow countrymen and women have come to feel that perhaps Zambia can’t do better, or perhaps Zambians shouldn’t expect more from their leaders. This is a sad story in a land of plenty but it is a fiction.
I can tell you now, that this country is rich, but our people are poor. The poverty is primarily driven by the poor leadership that we have been subjected to, election after election.
The energy we have here today shows how the ground is shifting and hope is shining through. We are now part of a countrywide movement of people coming together to say that we can do better; that with good leadership we can fix this and deliver economic liberation for each and every Zambian.
We can make sure youths have the opportunity to earn a decent living; that women have full access to education, improved maternal healthcare and equal opportunities in the work place; that farmers are supported to increase their yields and productivity. With the political will to end waste, corruption and government self-interest there is a lot we can do for the betterment of our people and our nation.
Our appeal to you today is if you are tired of all the negativity, the personal attacks, and those who would encourage you to think that we can’t hope for better then read the UPND 10 Point Plan, read the UPND manifesto and join us. We are excited to get started and show what can be achieved with planning and hard work.
Friends, this election is not personal. It’s about leadership. It’s about giving the job to someone with the capability, the drive to lead, and a track record for taking action.
We need more than promises. We need action.
We need an end to wasteful expenditures. We need investment in the education of our youths.
We need an end to corruption. We need to support the vulnerable and disadvantaged.
We need an end to policy inconsistency and economic mismanagement. We need to help local businesses thrive and create jobs and wealth for our people.
The leadership I am offering you here today is one that is focused on implementation; one that is ready to be judged on results; and, one that listens to advice and consults without prejudice or favour.
Today I have filed my nomination to stand as the presidential candidate on the UPND ticket in the upcoming 11 August 2016 elections because with your support and the guidance of my team, I am confident in our ability to deliver results that will benefit the people of Zambia.
When I was young Government supported me to go to university through a bursary. Without that investment I would not have been able to pursue my studies and I would not be where I am today. I am now on a mission to make sure every young Zambian has that same opportunity. We can make this happen but to deliver on this promise there must be serious change. Complacency, indecision and apathy are not an option.
I am honoured to stand side by side in this mission with the UPND candidate for Vice-President, my running mate, Mr. Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba. GBM joined us just a short while ago but he has made his mark; helping us grow the party and uniting the people behind our calls for economic liberation. He has been able to do all this because of his capability and drive to lead, and his focus on actions and results. These are exactly the sort of characteristics we need to see in our incoming government.
Join us, unite behind our 10 Point Plan and we will create jobs, invest in our people and breath new life into the economy. We will fix it. There will be a lot of promises in this election, but I can assure you we will not make empty promises because we are offering ourselves in service to you the people of Zambia.
The time has come for us to take action. Zambia forward!’
UPND National Campaign Centre