UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has continued lamenting over the unheard 2016 presidential election petition, adding that he will not stop fighting until the matter is brought back, regardless of how long it takes.
And HH yesterday hailed the role UPND women played in pushing for his freedom when he was in incarceration facing treason charges.
Addressing party supporters, HH repeated himself on various points regarding his views on the outcome of the last general elections.
“When our election was stolen which is very clear kulibe nakushushana (no need to argue), olo mwana wa 5 years aziba ise (even a five-year-old child knows us. We chose not to go in the streets not because we can’t fight no! We chose not to go on the streets to kill our own people or to be killed by our own people, we decided no, lets follow a civilised route which is by evoking the Constitution of Zambia through the presidential petition. That’s a decision we made,” HH said.
HH who mostly spoke in Nyanja, wondered why President Lungu refused to step aside from the presidency once his election was challenged, in accordance with the Constitution.
“Our petition was not heard up to now that’s the second issue to demonstrate that we are peace lovers many countries would have gone to war but we did not go to war we provided leadership even when the constitution was breached,” he explained.
The opposition leader said he did not mind waiting for the next elections in 2021, but expressed concern that if President Lungu did not respect the constitution in 2016, there was no guarantee that he would change in 2021.
“Our Bill of Rights especially Article 18, Article 17, 18 [says] when someone goes to court, there is no court that has a choice, the court must hear, they must hear the complaints of the citizen it is mandatory so why not hear our petition now?” he asked.
Meanwhile, speaking at the same event UPND National Women’s Chairperson Namakau Kabwiku said HH’s persecution had made him emerge as one of the most powerful politicians in the world.
“We are so proud of you, your persecution has made the whole world see the evils being perpetrated by Edgar Lungu and his government. Your persecution has made the international community take interest in our internal affair, like the collapse of the courts in Zambia, including institutions like the Zambia police service. Your persecution has made you emerge as one of the most powerful politicians in the universe, today the whole world knows that you were unfairly incarcerated. Your persecutions made neighbouring countries like South Africa look like they were part of this great nation. Your disposition has made us understand international relations and diplomacy, understanding that Zambia is not an island,” said Kabwiku.
“As UPND women we wish to express profound gratitude to you our dear president Hakainde Hichilema for bringing joy and integrity to our leadership in Zambia. Mr president, sir, the award you received in South Africa for being a freedom fighter would not have come at a better time than this. Your persecution and tribulations have outweighed what a reasonable person could have imagined. Mr president sir, you were thrown into prison for the sake of our political freedoms, you were mocked and subjected to inhuman treatment when you did not deserve it. Criminals have been spared and yet you denied yourself to simply send a message to the whole world that in his country there is a break down in the rule of law, violation of human rights, abuse of state institutions, violation of media freedoms among other.”