By Chambwa Moonga in Lundazi
HAKAINDE Hichilema says after two or three years of the UPND being in government, Zambians will see that change of government was long overdue.
Canvassing support for UPND’s John Mtonga for Lundazi Constituency’s Mkomba ward by-election on Friday afternoon, Hichilema, the UPND leader, urged the crowd to vote for a “development-oriented” Mtonga
He said Lundazi, particularly Mkomba ward, was yearning for development and not the “politically-instigated” violence residents were being exposed to.
“Vote for Mtonga because his party, UPND, is development-oriented. Even in 2021, we need to put the PF aside and bring in the UPND and after two, three years of the UPND being in government, you’ll be calling meetings to confess that uku kusintha kunachedwa (this change was long-overdue),” Hichilema told an ecstatic gathering.
“What this country needs is development and not politically-instigated violence. When you see members of a political party spearheading violence, know that their party has failed to bring development and they are disguising that failure with political violence.”
He reiterated that the PF government could not take worthwhile development to Lundazi district, or any part of Zambia, for that matter.
“They told us that they will create jobs but what jobs for youths are there here? There’s no money in people’s pockets. How is agriculture here? I passed through Lundazi boma where I found hundreds of farmers waiting for their money from the Food Reserve Agency – they were waiting at Zanaco branch,” Hichilema explained, alternating between Cinyanja and English.
“Have you ever seen a government stealing from the people who are suffering? It’s only the PF government that does that! Give us power and you’ll see what development the UPND will bring. Any serious government would have sunk boreholes here in Mkomba ward so that your livestock can have guaranteed access to drinking water. I know that you also need feeder roads in this ward so that you can easily transport your agricultural produce to the boma where there could be some sought of market.”
Hichilema, who was accompanied by the party’s National Management Committee (NMC) member Johabie Mtonga and Eastern Province UPND chairman Paul Thole, emphasised that residents of Mkomba ward needed to realise that: “the path to profitable agriculture passes through our candidate, Mtonga.”
“Give him a vote and trust me, he’s the first step towards development. If anything, Mkomba belongs to the UPND! So, give me another UPND member in Mtonga to be your councillor in Mkomba ward,” Hichilema said.
After the rally, Hichilema met about 40 village headmen of Mkomba ward, chief Kapichila, who lamented various social hardships in the ward.
Hichilema told them to advocate change of government so that real development can come.
“I have heard your problems to do with access to clean drinking water, problems related to agriculture and all the other hardships you mentioned here,” said Hichilema.
“So, my fellow headmen, I’m requesting you that going forward, you should speak to your people that there is need to change the government so that real development can come. The whole country is for change and I implore you the people of Lundazi not to be stuck with the PF.”
The Mkomba ward by-election arose after the resignation of UPND councillor Mackson Banda.
The ruling PF’s candidate is Steven Banda and polling date is February 12.