UPND president Hakainde Hichilema says UPND members should not only extensively mobilise, but come up with strategies to take over government “next time they win elections”.

Addressing National Management Committee members in Lusaka yesterday, Hichilema said it was unacceptable that the party had won the 2015 and 2016 elections without being allowed to take over control.

“When you are considering strategies, as members of this party, do yourselves a favour, ask yourself a question, why is it that we win elections, 2015, 2016 but you are not allowed to take over the country? So I would like to see a strategy for taking over the country after having won an election. We just can’t keep mobilising and mobilising and when we win, everything shuts out. Then we say ‘where is the president? They must walk us through’, what are you doing yourself? So I want to see, among some of the strategies we will work on, it may not be today, how do we take over a government after having won an election? Democratically! That is what I am talking about, I am not talking about illegal means, I don’t want some fellow after this to say ‘HH was saying this today’, yes! As chair said, why are you afraid? We want a change of regime but we will do it democratically. Let us work on that,” Hichilema said.

“So begin to mobilise, provinces, districts, everybody must mobilise. I, and I think you too, I would like to transform UPND into a mass movement.”

He noted that the party needed fresh strategies going forward.

“We need fresh ideas. Let us fix things which are not working well for us, things which are making us win elections in 2015, 2016, let us carry on with those but build and get better. You will see you will stop quarrelling about, ‘we don’t want the old members, we don’t want the new members’. I find that very strange amongst even senior people to discuss. We ask you to recruit people, you recruit, they come, you don’t want them…you are failing to focus on what is on the agenda. The agenda needs us in ones, in twos, in great numbers. We need revitalisation, we need to rekindle our hope for a better Zambia. I will never believe that as 17 million people, we are not capable of delivering a better Zambia. We can deliver a better Zambia for all…we are only failing because we don’t have a commodity called good leadership and that is what we provide,” Hichilema said.

“We must be strong and above all, we need to re-energise ourselves with new information strategies. Politics in dynamic, we cannot continue with the same strategies. Those strategies that have failed us, keep the ones that are working and we need to redefine what we do as individuals, as groups, as a nation; that is what true leadership is, self examination, self criticism.”

He encouraged party officials to make sacrifices for the greater good.

“We need to sacrifice. Leadership is about giving something. It is not to go to take. Today, these guys are just going to take! Even those who doubted within the PF know now that this team is just there to take. Leadership is giving. Give something, even just an extra pen. If you have an empty house, make it available for organisers to meet there. You have a car, you have something, give something,” said Hichilema.