UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema urged Zambians not to front fear as the country would not be progressive.
Meanwhile, chairperson of the opposition alliance Charles Milupi says the fight to salvage the country is collective.
During a fundraising dinner dance at Hotel InterContinental Hotel on Sunday night, Hichilema he was seeing a lot of frightened people in the country.
He lamented that no one achieves anything amidst unexplained fear.
“Your country is going down and nobody will reclaim your country rather than you…you alone seated here tonight. I want to thank you for coming; you can make this country better. Don’t front fear; I am seeing a lot of frightened faces in our country today. We went to school in the time of a one party state dictatorship, quite a brutal system with proper intelligence those days but we were able to do vivas (protests) ourselves and we never asked for buses to ferry us anywhere…there was one direction we used to go to almost all the time we had a viva and we used to walk. Do not front fear, no one achieves anything through fear; not in business, not in social life. If you got so afraid, you would fear to marry your current partners because you don’t know what they will turn out to be and then you will have no children and this country would not progress,” Hichilema said.
He further said the more oppression one faced was a sign that success was on the horizon.
“Fear will not save this country from collapsing, this country is collapsing…once more, I think you all agree that we need to work together, you have taken a step to come here…even coming here, some people will have to think twice, ‘how will I be treated tomorrow by the oppressive regime?’ Do not fear. The more oppression you see, you must know that success is just around the corner, so namikhupa bana a bahesu; ndemilomba mukwai, nilikupempha that encourage yourself first, encourage your family, encourage your neighbour to be strong and that fear delivers nothing.”
New Labour Party leader Fresher Siwale said if a child starts misbehaving on the mother’s back, it was time to put it down.
Quoting a Bemba proverb Siwale said it was about time the Zambians wore a boot in readiness to take on the stupid child once he is off the back.
“Uyu umulumendo, Jonathan Mutaware Lungu tufwile twamufwalila Jombo. Mwilamutina nokutina, te President iyo, he is not President; he is an imposter (We need to wear boots for this child Jonathan Mutaware Lungu, don’t be scared of him). He must tell us how he got elected without a ballot paper. He must tell us how he got elected without being nominated as a candidate, because takwaba ukwingilafye mu Presidency without following the law, we must reconcile him to the law,” said Siwale.
And Milupi said unless the governance improves, things would not improve in the country.
Milupi said if the country continued on the current trajectory, the state of the country and lives of Zambians would get “worse and worse”.
“This grouping of opposition political party leaders has been put together as a response to the needs of our Zambian citizens. The situation in the country is such that the vast majority of our people have been demanding that we come together, that we can fight for what is right for this our mother country,” Milupi said.
He said it was sad to see the poverty in a potentially rich country like Zambia hence the need for like-minded political parties to come together.
“The governance of this nation has shown that if we continue on this trajectory, the lives of Zambians will get worse and worse, the state of this country will become worse and worse and in no time, we shall become a failed Republic or a failed state because of what is happening at the top of this nation. We have come together as like-minded political parties, there are 10 of us at the moment and each one of us, and each one of the political parties is for the view that Zambian is much better than what is prevailing at the moment. Every corner of this country, whether it is Northern Province, Southern Province, North-Western, Copperbelt…those of us who transverse this country and meet with ordinary people, villagers, those in town and so on, we can see the level of suffering that is taking place and yet Zambia is potentially such a rich country.”
Milupi said it was shameful that the country endowed with so much potential was limited in its developmental agenda compared with other countries in the region.
“It’s a crying shame that 54 years after Independence, with a country so rich, we have on average an annual budget of $5.6 billion…certain universities elsewhere in the world, just one university has more than double that budget. Our neighbouring country, Angola, which went through a long period of war and strife have this year a budget of $46.9 billion when we have $6 billion. The reason for this is over time we have collectively failed to marshal the resources that God, our heavenly father, gave to us as a nation. Things will not improve until we can improve our governance,” Milupi said.
“The Presidents you see here are determined in spite of the difficulties that prevail in opposition politics, problems of being followed by the State, the police, problems of being denied permission to meet, this time even in private homes…in spite all these difficulties, we have come together to offer leadership, alternative leadership so that the Zambian people can have hope,” he said.
Milupi explained that the alliance of various political parties had a task to correct what was going wrong in the country in terms of governance.
He stated that his team was aware of people and institutions that were not happy to see the unity in the alliance and therefore had already started emissaries to lure out individual members.
“Of the immediate need is to correct what is going wrong in this country to do with governance issues of this country and among those will be corruption, among those issues will be bad governance and that is why we have come together as political parties of equal partners. We know that those who think it’s their right to be at the helm of this country purely for the purposes of eating, enjoying themselves, flying all over the world are not happy to see the united front such as one you see here today and they will do their utmost to try and divide us…and already on social media we have seen some of us coming out very strongly that emissaries are being sent to some of us to see if we can pull away from this partnership you can see here.”
Milupi said the fight to salvage the country is not an individual fight and therefore needed unity of purpose.
“And the reason they are doing this is because they can already see and feel the impact. It is not long time ago that we came together but you can already see the unity of purpose. President for the New labour Party, Fresher Siwale already said that because of the various talents displayed there, we are able to organise things, the organisation of this function is less than seven days old. The fight we have to salvage this country is not an individual’s fight, it’s not for Sean Tembo, it’s not for President Lukuku, it’s not for Chishimba Kambwili, it’s not for any of these…Hakainde, Andyford Banda and so on; it is collectively for all of us, those who know that Zambia can do better than what they are going through at the moment,” said Milupi.
And National Democratic Congress leader Chishimba Kambwili, who called in via phone from Luanshya to render his apology for not attending the function, said the opposition leaders were committed in bringing the country to normalcy.
He noted that the country was bleeding and losing its democratic status and if not attended to, would be a laughing stock to all.
“What is happening today under this dictator called Edgar Chagwa Lungu is unacceptable and that is why we the ten political parties that have decided to come together and make sure that despite the injustice, we bring this country back to its admired status and normalcy. We need your support up to 2021 until we remove this undemocratic leadership of Edgar Chagwa Lungu,” said Kambwili to the attendees.