UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has told people of Senama in Bahati constituency not to vote for the PF candidate, arguing that doing so would mean that people were happy with the problems they have been subjected to under the current regime.

And Hichilema says President Edgar Lungu has been following him wherever he goes to campaign like a tail.

Meanwhile, UPND national chairperson Mutale Nalumango urged people to reject the politics of tribalism.

Speaking at a campaign rally, Friday, Hichilema promised to pay civil servants on time once UPND forms government in 2021.

“If you vote for PF, it will mean that you are happy with the suffering and lack of opportunities for your children. We have given you a candidate who comes from here, the PF candidate is not from here, he is camping at a lodge in Mansa! But our candidate is a resident of this area, he was born here. He will work for you, and I will also work for you,” Hichilema pledged.

“Lungu nga aumfwa ati HH ali ku Bahati naena kukonka, kwati mucila wanama. Nomba uwakwata vision ninani, paulekonka munuma nouleya pa first. Mwibepwa iyoo, tuli bantu bamo bene. Ukupa tulopana bwino bwino, tulafyala nabana but ngatwaisa kuma elections ati iyoo HH mwimupela vote. (When Lungu heard that HH was in Bahati, he also followed, as if he is a tail! Who in that case has a vision; between the person who goes to an area first, and the one who follows? Let them not lie to you, we are one people. We marry amongst ourselves without problems, but when it’s time for elections they say don’t give HH a vote.)”

Hichilema said the PF were only benefiting themselves at the expense of the masses.

“Ba PF balelyafye beka notufumo tulefuma, nomba abantu baku Bahati balecula. Ubunga K110 akasaka kamo. Ba PF batucusha, twacula pafula. (these PF people are only eating alone, they have even developed potbellies! You are buying mealie meal at K110 per 25Kg bag. We have suffered enough under PF)! They have been lying to us in Lusaka that people in Luapula are having a good life, but I decided to come and see for myself and what they have been saying are blatant lies! People are suffering in all parts of the country,” Hichilema observed.

He also promised to pay civil servants on time should he be elected Republican President in 2021.

“I, humble HH, I am requesting you to give us Jerry Bwalya as MP and if you vote properly in 2021, I will re-open Mansa Batteries so that our children can be employed). When you vote for Jerry Bwalya and vote for HH in 2021, I will ensure that we give licenses for Mukula Tree to you the local people. We shall also work on ensuring that licenses for manganese mining are given to the local people so that if foreigners want to mine manganese, they should partner with you,” he said.

“When you vote for JJ Bwalya and you vote for HH and UPND in 2021, we shall make sure that civil servants are paid on time as opposed to what is happening now. When it comes to farming, we shall ensure that we deliver farming inputs by July or August so that farmers can prepare for the season in advance for the season. We shall pay farmers on time when they supply their maize to FRA.”

Meanwhile, Nalumango urged the people to reject the politics of tribalism.

“PF has come to kill us with hunger, but it is only you who can remove this hunger by removing PF. Even if you are bewitched; you go to hospital you don’t find any medicine, there is no money to pay for your children, civil servants are not being paid, CBU has been closed as we speak, can you go and ‘dununa reverse?’ They have lied to us long enough, they said ‘more money in your pockets,’ they meant more money in their pockets. They have stolen all the money! Let’s start by voting for Jerry Bwalya and in 2021 we vote for HH,” Nalumango said.

“Let them not come and tell you about the tribe, it is not about the tribe, it is about wisdom. Not ‘pompwe munshibila nsala’ (not a blatant thief). HH is a Zambian and God has given him wisdom. They have failed to be responsible! Lecturers are complaining of not being paid, but they are telling them that ‘you must resign if you don’t want to work.”

UPND chairperson for mobilization Sylvia Masebo told constituents to give PF a red card in Thursday’s by-election to show that they are not happy.

“I am appealing to you here in Luapula, PF has destroyed this country! Lungu has destroyed this country with corruption, government resources are being stolen every day. These elections on the 11th April will give a signal in 2021, you should give Lungu a red card to show him that you are not happy. Because if you vote for him, he will think that you are happy with what’s happening,” said Masebo.

And Bwalya promised to work on solving challenges affecting the people in the area.

“They have failed to deliver development here in Bahati. I have told you that there are so many things that hurt me about this area, send me to Parliament; I will work on these problems we are facing here. PF has taken advantage of us, that’s why they are even picking people from Mansa to come and unblock the drainages here instead of giving the local youths,” said Bwalya.