HAKAINDE Hichilema has condemned political violence saying no one can be happy to see people of the same family fighting.
Meanwhile, Hichilema says people want to change government.
Hichilema, who arrived in Eastern Province through Mfuwe International Airport on Thursday morning, was blocked by the police and later teargassed in Mambwe district to prevent him from moving in a procession and distribute facemasks.
He said he was also held for two hours at Chipata Airport on arrival from Lundazi by police who locked him inside the airport to prevent him from entering Chipata city because he did not notify the police about his trip.
Eastern Province police commissioner Geza Lungu, who arrived two hours later at the facility, told Hichilema that he could not be allowed in the city because he did not notify the police and that the security situation was not okay in town.
Lungu only allowed Hichilema to proceed into town on condition that he does not hold any meeting or roadshow adding that he should only be escorted by three vehicles.
Hichilema said his colleagues from the PF were campaigning throughout the country and that he did not need to notify anybody to go into Chipata.
And featuring on Breeze FM’s political hour programme which was also carried live by various radio stations in Eastern Province, Hichilema said violence was bad.
“We are members of the same family. All Zambians across the 10 provinces are one family. Can you be happy if your children in your house are fighting? Can you be happy? Violence is not needed, we condemn violence,” Hichilema said.
He said Zambians had resolved to change government and urged easterners not to remain behind.
“Banthu badandaula in other places kuti banthu bakum’mawa bamasalila mumbuyo. Government basintha, basalila mumbuyo, but chamene naona manje banthu bakum’mawa bali pasogolo, manje bafuna kusintha boma (people in other places complain that easterners usually remain behind whenever government changes, but what I have seen now, the people of Eastern Province are in front, they want to change government),” he said.
Hichilema said easterners would have a rare opportunity choosing a fellow farmer as President on 12 August.
“This government has failed and people are bitter with it. In villages, Zambians want change and they have no option but to change government. Ikani mlimi munzanu mu State House (put your fellow farmer in State House),” he said.
Hichilema said Zambians have suffered a lot adding that the country was faced with high unemployment, poverty levels and that there were no drugs in hospitals.
“The people of Zambia will have an opportunity to elect a leadership that will give them love, the leadership that will afford them to live better lives, to have jobs and do business. The people will have a chance to choose a leadership that is knowledgeable, hardworking and has good policies. Now if people want change and it is true they want it… that’s why you heard the sounds of tear smoke like a bomb, it’s a shame for someone to teargas your people instead of protecting the people. I told the policeman at the airport; you know they locked us up for two hours at the airport for no reason at all. We are not fighting, we have just come to chat with the people. They locked us on the runway. What happened today has never happened in the history of this country that people can be locked up on the runway,” he said.
Hichilema said it was strange that police could lock the gate to the airport facility.
“If we were hooligans, we would have just broken down that thing because there was nothing there, but we respect the law. Unfortunately, that [confining him at the airport] was not even a law but it was an illegality,” he said.
Hichilema said it was the duty of the Electoral Commission of Zambia to deliver a free and fair election.
“People want to change because they have suffered and for that to happen a democratic process called elections must happen, for that to happen, there must be free and fair elections. The ECZ has no choice, they have to deliver a free and fair election. They have to allow the
election results to be determined by the voters of Zambia. People want the UPND alliance to fix it, they want Bally to fix it and Bally will fix it for real, this is not a joke,” he said.
Hichilema said he would always respect the people of Zambia and God.
Asked whether he would accept the election results, Hichilema said it was the duty of the Electoral Commission of Zambia to allow voters to choose a leadership of their own that would serve them better.
“It is the duty of the Electoral Commission to ensure that there is no cheating in the election. The results of the elections in 2016 there were no Gen 12 forms, so how did they know the winner? They just did abracadabra and say amene awina niuyu, nanga tifuna magic mu ma elections (the one who has won is this one, do we wangt magic in elections)? We want a clear determination of who has won and if the election is free and fair, there is no issue, there is no complaint. There is no question of ‘will you accept or not’ in a free and fair
election, no! The winner of a free and fair election, not in the minds of the Electoral Commission but in the minds of the people, because people can tell that these elections are free and fair,” he said.
Hichilema wondered whether it was a free and fair campaign when other people were allowed to campaign while others were not.
He said people should be allowed to conduct parallel voter tabulation.
Hichilema said the issuance of NRCS and voters’ cards was biased because even foreigners were being registered.
“If the election is free and fair, there is no qualm, there is no complaint and there is no issue but the issue arises when the election is fiddled, why shouldn’t we campaign? Why teargas us? That is a clear situation where you are creating an environment which is not fair even before the votes but I can tell you PF will try and rig the elections, they will fail to rig the elections because the numbers will be too big. The people will protect the vote. I am appointing all Zambians here in Chipata, Lundazi, Malambo, Katete, Petauke, Nyimba, Chadiza,
Vubwi, Chama, Chasefu and the entire Zambia to be campaign managers for me and the UPND alliance,” he said.
Hichilema said his government would repair roads such as the Chipata – Lundazi and the bridges, Chipata -Chadiza, Chipata – Vubwi and many others that were in bad shape.
He said his government would come up with a programme to support the agriculture sector.
And Hichilema described the current debt swap as mere politicking for votes.
“But I know that the civil servants are very clever, they understand what’s going on,” said Hichilema.