Thousands of Solwezi residents on Sunday lined up the street to welcome United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema who was making his first visit of the mining town since his 127 days detention on treason charges.

The UPND president was in Solwezi to launch the provincial card renewal exercise.

Addressing the residents, HH said he would use his incarceration to help demonstrate the need for good governance, and to foster peace, unity and development.

“We have suffered enough as a country, but I want to assure the nation through you people of Solwezi that we will develop this country, we will be different from those who arrested us for no crime, because if we behaved the same, you, our people will not see the difference,” HH said, according to his press secretary Brian Mwiinga.

The opposition leader said he was seeking public office not for personal gain but to help alleviate poverty in the country.

“We seek public office not for personal gain but to help alleviate poverty in our country, we are a different crop, a crop that means what it says and that our people must have food, quality education, quality health and if you like quality infrastructure, we will run a government whose policy will be zero tolerance to corruption because corruption is cancer,” he said to a cheering crowd.

He said when his time comes to be in State House, he will be occupied with ensuring that the country has enough food adding that this would be done through predictable policies that would not leave the country hurting.

HH said he remained committed to fighting for the greater good of the country adding that no threats would make him stop speaking against injustices.

The opposition leader was accompanied by party national chairperson Mutale Nalumango, party Secretary General Stephen Katuka and several other senior party officials.

He thanked residents for their moral and physical support during his arrest.

“Thank you all for your unwavering support and commitment to fight for a better Zambia, we all have a task to set our country free from those who never appreciate dissent, those that arrested us for no crime, we remain committed and we ask you all to do so, we will work round the clock and develop our country by creating an enabling environment,” said HH.