President Edgar Lungu has advised the people of Sesheke to switch allegiance from the UPND to the PF if they want to enjoy the benefits of belonging to the ruling party, just like soccer fans change football clubs to please the one buying them alcohol.

And President Lungu has asked PF and UPND supporters in Sesheke to end the ongoing violence, wondering why the rival-party supporters were hacking each other when him and Hakainde Hichilema have never engaged in a physically fight.

Meanwhile, UPND president Hichilema has accused the police of trying to assassinate him yesterday, saying they discharged live ammunitions at his entourage with the aim of killing him.

Speaking when he went to drum up support for the PF Sesheke parliamentary candidate Dean Masule ahead of next Tuesday’s parliamentary by-election, noted that despite the region voting for the UPND since 2006, the opposition party has never ascended to power.

“I know there is a lot of violence here caused by people who are outsiders, they have hired people from Choma, from Livingstone, From Lusaka, from Ndola, and from Kitwe to come and unleash violence here. We are saying no to violence. Violence does not build anything. It just destroys and then the worst part is that Edgar Lungu and Hakainde Hichilema have never fought physically [so] why should you be fighting? When we met the first time I called him ‘my brother Mr president how are you?’ he calls me ‘Mr President how are you? We talk [but] why should you be the ones to fight? Even this Masule and his friends who are contesting, their children are not fighting, why should you let your children fight for them?” President Lungu asked.

“If you have your field where you grow your maize and for five years you have been ploughing in that field but you don’t harvest anything, why do you continue ploughing in the same field? 2001 you voted [and] I don’t know whom you voted for, who did you vote for in 2001? Hakainde; 2006 you voted for who? 2011 you voted for who? 2016 you voted for who? Now we are giving you chance to say please give us somebody who can play football with us and win. Manchester United is a football club in the English Premier league, when they were having difficulties, management sat down and said ‘Coach, Kuya bebele (you are going)’. Do you think that person whom you have voted for so many times is going to change your lives if you keep voting for him? In Kabwata in Chawama where we used to play from they used to tell us that ‘mwana, chinja jersey ukolewe. (change the jersey you are wearing to enjoy the benefits)’ This party which I belong to called PF has demonstrated to be a growing party, it’s a national party, it is a party that is ready to change the lives of the people of Zambia,” President Lungu further said.

President Lungu said if the PF candidate loses, the people of Sesheke should not go to him demanding development.

“This man Masule will serve you under the PF led government which is a well meaning people centred government. And if he lets me down or lets you down, I will sort him out. But if you give us any other person, I will have no power over him [and] I will have no say over him. So if you give me a wrong person in 2021, don’t come and talk about development because there will be no one to speak for you. So those of you who think that you can stick to that political party and do the same things for over and over nothing will change over your lives,” said President Lungu.

“The people here have told us that they want the Livingstone-Sesheke road to be done, do you think the opposition can do that road for us? Where will they get money from? They do not allow their MPs to visit us, so how will they convince the Minister of Infrastructure to give priority to the Livingstone-Sesheke road? So give us the chance to prove. In Mangango we have already started.”

Yesterday, UPND accused police of firing live ammunition to disperse the opposition political party supporters who were carrying on their campaign activities.

Hichilema complained that his life was put at serious risk as he had to run for hours in the bush, in fear of being shot by the police.

“Our lives are in danger as Police are discharging live ammunition at us and our people. We appeal to the Nation to remain calm but steadfast for any eventualities to come. People power is our power and your power,” said Hichilema.

Video later emerged of police in patrol vehicles opening fire in the area which the UPND was conducting business.

But Police Inspector General Kakoma Kanganja claimed that what the police were firing were not live bullets.

“The Zambia Police Service wishes to state that no live ammunition was fired by our officers that were dispersing the unruly crowd in Sesheke yesterday. We also wish to further clarify that no life was lost yesterday as a result of this fracas. As Zambia Police we have since reinforced our officers on the ground to deal with any further disturbances in the area,” said IG Kanganja.