I am not his enemy. Hunger is His Enemy! — Hichilema
Lusaka — Zambia. He noted this, as he addressed the press Wednesday morning at his residency, the opposition leader took lead role answering questions, as he made his final statements at a public podium.
This followed another change in flight plans earlier in his day, due to imposed flight restrictions on him and his team in the Alliance on a scheduled final campaign trail out-of-town.
Speaking at his residence in the capital Lusaka, Hakainde Hichilema touched on many issues him and his team continued to face while campaigning, calling out the President and authorities. And as the final hours before the close of campaigns approached, as stipulated by the laws governing the Electoral Commission, President Hichilema took on open questions from both local and international journalists, keep a bold and confident approach through his address, leaving no one out.
“NOW, in a country that is supposed to be a democracy, you cannot effect change of leadership, without going through an election process. And that is what we are faced with, in a couple of hours, from now. Tomorrow the twelfth of August, twenty twenty-one, our country is going to elections, at different levels. Which should result in a change of Government. In our view. Undoubtedly” — Hakainde Hichilema, said as he addressed the press in his opening remarks.
Hakainde Hichilema who was speaking at a press briefing earlier is the current leader of the UPND Alliance and President of the opposition United Party for National Development.
As leader of a leading opposition party, Hakainde Hichilema and UPND party are likely to drive numbers of the swing provinces Lusaka and Copperbelt, away from the ruling Patriotic Front, in this year’s general elections. The Patriotic Front, having come into to power after winning the 2011 general elections, have been rulling Party for ten year with President Lungu, standing on the party ticket for a third time.
This presser comes as the opposition leader continues to cite restrictions that have prevented him from flying in his campaign aircraft to many destinations on the planned campaign trail. However, President Hichilema has continued to defy odds by using alternative travel mostly by road, while publicly calling out aviation authorities for frequently refusing to clear flight plans he files. Independent polls such as ‘Afrobarometer’ and analysts put Hichilema significantly ahead of the PF’s President Edgar Lungu.
With the latest restrictions on the opposition leader, coming just a few hours before his scheduled flight to the Copperbelt, President Hichilema couldn’t resist sharing banter publicly in a Facebook post, as one keen follower responded “If blocking has consistently been there how sure and secure will the vote results be. .”
“Kopala….batu bloka nafuti!!!!! But Bally will be on radio pa 10.00 hours. The whole country will be tuned in. The whole list of syndicated radio stations will be shared shortly. Bally"⁴
Within a few minutes, the post had drawn close to ten thousand emotions and over two thousand comments from both sympathizers and followers.
As reporters gathered to get ready for the opposition leader's address, President Hakainde shared another post, stating “They can block us from going to the Copperbelt but they can’t block the Copperbelt from voting for us”, adding “Mailo kuba sheta!”
Having been consistent with his call for national unity, the fight against corruption, and the importance Zambians as key stakeholders, doing what is legally right for the development of country, his competitors on the other-hand have continued to make personal attacks on him, and his ability to lead the country, as tribe and religious affiliation take highlight in all opposing his candidature.
This press briefing however, came as final icing to the whole electoral cake, with him reaffirming his true desire to seek state office, while sharing proposed agendas as a possible 7th President of the Republic of Zambia. “Development, natural resources, and genuine wealth for our citizens, is all we hope to bring”, President Hichilema shared as he answered questions from the press.
Asked why he sounded confident and if he will accept defeat and concede. The opposition leader noted, “we sound confident, yes we are” Despite the restrictions, taking away our rights as most of you know, physically and otherwise, we are confident because we are in touch with the people of Zambia. We know that they want change. They have decided to change, because the squalor out there, the poverty we are experiencing they've never seen this. I never imagined that after 1991, we will see any regime like this. Of course I was wrong. So were many Zambians. This is a brutal regime that is brutal, that is undemocratic, that uses the institution to do all sorts of things. But I think the population has come to understand that this cannot continue.”
He further pointed out in response to a question raised, that, accepting defeat was not an issue. The issue was about having free, fair and credible elections.
President Hakainde Hichilema continued on, answering all questions from journalists which included economic, development, personal and how he hopes to handle his rivals before proceeding to give a word of advice to his political opponent and International Election Observers.
Why do we seek public office? To better the lives of our people. Not ourselves, for selfish reason, but our people. The leader of the opposition emphasized.
“I am talking to my colleague. Let’s allow a smooth change of Governments. We don't have to destroy the country, in order to remain in office. Or, to do other things. The day you move into office my brother, you must know the next thing is to move out. I’m aware of that myself. So, there shouldn't be hesitation. There shouldn’t be anger. I see a lot of anger in him. In the last one week. There shouldn’t be anger. It is a natural thing to happen. There is a former president there”, as he turned to direct attention to former President Dr. Guy Scott. He’s living an ordinary life. offcourse not as ordinary as mine. He’s guarded, am not guarded. He should be guarded. We go in, we do our work, we leave, hapilly, peacefully and use the presidential powers, to discharge legal instructions. Not ilegal instructions.
The opposition leader noted that he was available to talk, as he’s always made himself available to talk. Just as his entire team was available to talk, for the better good of Zambia. He followed on by saying “ we've talked before, let's talk again. It’s not too late. Better late than never. We keep our country safe. Threatening each other with arrests is actually the wrong thing to do. It constitutes to intimidation. Luckily I don't take intimidation, luckily. That could translate to voters being intimidated, further making them asking, what they would be voting for.”
He called on voters to turn out in numbers if they need to see change and help put stop to purported continued intimidations by those in power.
“So that we can bring the rule of law. So that we can bring out normalcy in our country.”
I also want to send a message to him that, I am not his enemy. He projects me as his enemy. I’ve never been his enemy. The enemy is poverty, hunger and unemployment, that’s the enemy. I am not his enemy, hunger is his enemy, Hichilema went to state in his closing remarks.
Campaigns officially closed at 18:00 Wednesday 11th August, with every peace-loving, change-seeking, and patriotic Zambian said to be preparing to go out and vote for their preferred candidate tomorrow. Though it is a common trend for some places to report early queues as early as 4 AM for the 6AM first vote, unconfirmed reports suggest that the Copperbelt University polling station had already started showing spots of voters making an early stand in the line, before dusk.
Zambia goes to the polls tomorrow 12th August, 2021, with Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) announced that the certified 2021 register of voters stands at 7, 023, 499, in May 2021. At least 43.2 percent of registered voters were able to verify their details.
Among the new favourites likely to win in the much contested elections include Grace Sampa (UPND) for Mayor of Kitwe and former UPND Youth Chairman, and longtime member Frank Tayali, for Ndola Central. While, Former Mayor of Kitwe, Christopher Kangombe is likely to return to the lawmakers list as a Member of Parliament for Kanfinsa.
Other candidates include, Rashida Mulenga, who is Former Mayor of Kalulushi, and Former Kitwe District Commissioner Binwell Mpundu, who are standing as independents, after leaving the ruling party, early in the year. Both are also likely to win in their candidature for Kalulushi and Nkana Constituencies, respectively, following their predicated support and numbers both in and out off their former roles in office.