UNITED Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema says he is humbled by the support he has received from the Patriotic Front (PF) and the MMD leaders for the January 20, 2015 presidential election.
Mr Hichilema said Zambians across regions, religion, tribe and political affiliation were resolved to remove the PF from Government and end the era of ‘‘panga politics’’ that had characterized the country’s political atmosphere in the three years of the PF rule.
Mr Hichilema said there were many genuine and patriotic citizens in the PF that were concerned with the breakdown of the rule of law and mismanagement of the governance institutions and would love to see the ruling party voted out of Government.
He said it was heartening that PF Kasama Member of Parliament (MP) Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba had searched his conscience and come to the conclusion that serving the country was more important than serving the interests of a few individuals within the ruling party.
Mr Hichilema said he had been touched by the gesture of the many MMD MPs across the country and their structures for joining the campaign for peace, unity and harmony by advocating for an all-inclusive government as opposed to the tribalism and nepotism associated with the ruling party.
It was unprecedented, he said, that a country could unite in the manner the MMD and the PF had done in saving the country from being destroyed by a few individuals in Government.Mr Hichilema pledged that he was not going to abuse the trust and confidence the PF and the MMD parliamentarians as well as the general citizenry had entrusted in him but would dedicate his presidency to delivering the best for Zambians.
“The support and the endorsement I have received from my brothers and sisters from the MMD and PF has humbled me. It is telling me that Zambians have decided to remove the PF from Government because there is a real danger that the country will be destroyed and balkanized under the current leadership. Zambians are looking for decent leadership and move away from the era of panga politics witnessed under the PF.
“I am humbled by the endorsement by Mr Mwamba and other senior leaders in the PF and this shows that we are united in trying to find the best leadership for our people and those peddling the tribal tag are ashamed that we as Zambians are beyond such cheap propaganda that has since beaten the dust,” Mr Hichilema said.He said Zambians were looking for unity and that the UPND was the only vehicle to the country’s political stability, adding that Mr Mwamba had demonstrated the love for the country by looking beyond partisan affiliation in advising Zambians which presidential candidate to support and vote for.
The UPND leader said MMD in Eastern Province had assured him that the region was endorsing him because the PF had failed to honour the promises it made to the people.
He said farmers were angry that they had not been paid for the maize delivered to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) last marketing season.
Mr Hichilema has appealed to Zambian’s to listen and reflect on the kind of Government the PF had provided in the last three years when casting their vote next month.
The opposition leader said his party had already demonstrated that more could be achieved if Zambians remained as united as they have exhibited by endorsing him as a leader who could unite the country which he said had been deeply divided on tribal and political inclinations.