The Patriotic Front (PF) has embarked on a programme to rig the 2016 general elections, United Party for National Development (UPND) President Hakainde Hichilema has disclosed.
But PF secretary general Davis Chama said Mr Hichilema was facing a phobia of losing the general elections which would ultimately invalidate his ambitions of ever becoming president of the country.
Mr Hichilema maintained that he won the January presidential election by a small margin and that was why the ruling party allegedly managed to manipulate the votes in favour of President Edgar Lungu.
Speaking at a media briefing at the UPND secretariat yesterday, Mr Hichilema told party members that the only way to guard against rigging was for the UPND to win the 2016 general elections with a landslide. Mr Hichilema revealed that he was personally organizing youths across the country to register as voters and that he would ensure that by the end of the registration exercise, more than 1000 new voters would have been captured through his efforts.
Mr Hichilema claimed that the PF had failed to govern the country and that Zambians were seeing the UPND as the hope and alternative to take over the governance of the country.
He said he was going to ensure that the UPND was going to sensitise its members and sympathizers to counter electoral fraud because he was certain that the opposition political party was destined for victory next year.
The UPND leader said only voting in large numbers and a landslide victory for the UPND was the surest way of protecting the votes and urged the supporters to continue with their vigorous campaign of recruiting new members.
“The UPND family has been growing exponentially and we are the only remaining political party that is giving hope to Zambians. We won the presidential election in January but because our victory was with a small margin, our vote was stolen. The only secure way of protecting our vote and victory next year is to win by a landslide because only then will it be difficult for the PF to rig the elections. As a personal commitment to our victory, I will make sure that more than 1000 voters are registered through my efforts and it is my expectation that the general membership should do the same,” Mr Hichilema said.
But Mr Chama said Mr Hichilema had lost hope of ever wining the elections in his political career and was inventing reasons to sooth his impending defeat.
Mr Chama said Mr Hichilema would be forced to go into political retirement after losing the general elections next year because the UPND would eventually be taken over by his vice-president for administration Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba.
Mr Chama said it was impossible for elections to be rigged in Zambia because the electoral system was fool-proof.
He explained that the electoral system in Zambia was so transparent that even the ballot boxes were transparent while all political parties participating in the elections were free to have their agents in all the gazetted polling stations.
“Mr Hichilema knows he is going to lose the elections next year and he is inventing reasons to sooth this impending defeat. He will be retired next year and that is why as the PF we sent an ambassador to the UPND in the name of Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba to take over from Mr Hichilema. So rigging elections is not as easy as Mr Hichilema is imagining and the MMD would still be in Government because they had the powers but could not rig the elections,” Mr Chama said.