UPND vice-president Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM) has described 2017 as Annus horribilis, meaning a year of disaster or misfortune in Latin, and has expressed sorrow to families that lost members on account of political violence.

And UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has urged citizens to enter 2018 with renewed vigour and determination towards making Zambia a better country.

The two leaders said this is separate statements shared on their Facebook pages on New Year’s Eve.

“As we are about to exit 2017, a year that has been an eventful year and one which may be described as ‘Annus Horibilis’ to many of our citizens, let us reflect and re examine ourselves. Let us look into the new year with determination and never again be taken for granted by cartels and a weak leadership,” GBM stated on Sunday evening.

“This is a time of merry making and enjoying our hard fought freedoms and hard work; but alas, a few have taken control and are the beneficiaries at the expense of the greater and bigger majority who have been reduced to poverty-stricken paupers.”

He thanked the party membership for its loyalty and determination.

“I wish to thank all our members in the UPND and all well-wishers and assure you that 2018 will be a different year. President HH and the entire party leadership have engaged higher gear and will make accountability of the country’s resources prominent. The rule of law must be respected by all institutions of government and individuals because Zambia is for all of us. We are also taking note of the inadequacies and incompetences of our so called national leadership, their greed and insatiable appetite for becoming rich on the country’s resources,” stated GBM.

“To all citizens, that have lost loved ones in 2017, I share with you your loss and I grieve with you. Some of those losses would have been avoided. Those born in 2017, welcome to this earth and the many issues that it brings. I wish to also urge all our citizens to take extra care of yourselves in the year we are entering and demand good governance and equitable treatment for all. Let us take Zambia forward. All the best; Happy and prosperous 2018.”

And HH thanked party members who prayed for him during his tribulations in 2017.

“We wish to wholeheartedly thank you for the prayers, support and encouragement you gave us in 2017. Let’s all move into 2018 with new resolve, vigour and determination towards making our country better. There are many challenges but with unity of purpose regardless of our political affiliations, we can achieve a lot,” stated HH.

“Please let’s enjoy responsibly as one family. We thank you once more for your massive support and looking forward to a year that will launch our nation on a more progressive path.”