OPPOSITION United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema yesterday commmemorated Zambia’s 50 years of indepedence with the vulnerable in John Laing and Chawama Townships.
And Mr Hichilema also donated mealie meal, Cooking oil, sugar and salt to vulnerable and aged residents of John Laing and Chawama.
Mr Hichilema who boycotted Golden Jubilee celebrations at the National Heroes Stadium on government invitation said he could not celebrate because Zambia was experiencing high levels of poverty.
Mr Hichilema said the price of mealie meal and other basic needs had become prohibitive to many Zambians under the PF Government and that he did not see it morally correct to celebrate the anniversary when many Zambians were suffering.
“The cost of mealie meal, fuel and many other basic needs has gone up and most vulnerable citizens cannot aford. You cannot afford to eat and use a bus to go to the Univeristy Teaching Hospital to visit your relatives because transport cost is reduculously high,” he said.
Mr Hichileam also thanked freedom fighters for playing a vital role in liberating the country.
“If some of the freedom fighters who fought for our independence were here today, they would be shocked at the high levels of poverty and suffering people were going through,” he said. He said after 50 years ophans were supposed to be accessing free education under government bursaries.
Mr Hichilema said it was not fair that even after 50 years many children in John Laing and Chawama compound were not able to access education. He said if UPND forms government it would prioritize improvment of the education, health and agriculture sector.
“We shall pay the farmers on time unlike it is the case under the current leadership of President Michael Sata,” he said.
Mr Hichilema said he decided commemorate the Jubilee year by giving the vulnerable and the aged some food to helpmeet their daily needs.
He promised John Laing and Chawama residents that once UPND formed government, it would reduce the cost of fuel and mealie meal.