UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema has laughed off President Edgar Lungu’s statement that the opposition party is bringing misery to the country by praying against rains so that the people get frustrated and kick out the Patriotic Front from power.

During a campaign for the council chairperson by-election in Kaoma, Tuesday, President Lungu charged that the UPND was praying for high mealie meal prices and and for the water in the Kariba dam to dry out so that load shedding continues to frustrate Zambians into voting against the government.

“They think that if there is no development, people are hungry, there are no schools, no hospitals, no medicine in hospitals, people will rise against us. That is why they are fighting us for bringing schools, for bringing development. They want us to fail so that they rise against us but we are not going to allow that. Can you imagine a political party which prays that there is no rain in Zambia so that droughts persist? Can you imagine a political party which goes to pray so that there is no water in the dam so that we don’t generate hydro electricity to supply to our people? Can you imagine a political party which wants the price of mealie meal to go up so that there is no food in Zambia?” asked President Lungu.

Reacting the President’s remarks Hichilema charged that the President’s reasoning was being affected by snake poison.

“That’s what happens when you eat serpents, it is snake poison that is confusing him. Then he start ku sabaila sabaila (to hallucinate). The man is behaving in a strange way these days. How can you reason like that? Our brother needs helps, this behaviour is not normal,” Hichilema charged.

“We have no power to stop the rains, only a clown can think like that. Only a person who has failed to find solutions to the economy can reason like that, because they have no leadership, they have no vision. This man has been blaming me and ‘Mr Climate Change’ for everything that is going on in this country. Load shedding is because of me and climate change, mealie meal prices its me and climate change, fuel prices its me and climate change, kwacha depreciation its me and climate change, even Zambia’s debt has been caused by me and climate change! Now he is at it again, accusing us of praying against rains. What kind of a leader thinks like that?”

Hichilema said it was a pity that Zambians were suffering at the hands of a snake eating President.

“Let me remind Lungu that UPND is not in power. It is him and his corrupt PF who are running the country, so he must not point fingers at us. Our time will soon come and Zambians will see what we are capable of doing for them. It is a pity that Zambians are going through this misery because of a snake eating President who can’t find solutions to their problems. There is nothing this man knows apart from stealing and killing people with his PF thugs. I am in Kaoma where he is behaving like it is a war zone, it is terrible!” he complained.

Hichilema reminded President Lungu that he had warned and advised the PF on all the problems that the country was now facing.

“He has failed to provide leadership so he is looking for excuses and HH and UPND is always his excuse even when I have advised him on so many things without listening. We advised him on debt, he didn’t listen, look at the crisis now, we advised him on the food shortage, he didn’t listen. And let me take this opportunity to insist that he must declare hunger as a national disaster, people are hungry!” Hichilema said.

“Lungu is the biggest problem that is ailing Zambia right now and it is the responsibility of all well meaning citizens to get rid of this problem at the next election. You remember, even on this load shedding, I advised him to bring in solar and focus on scaling solar energy. I advised him to consider bringing gas energy for families to cook their meals. What is happening now is that people are cutting down trees because they need malasha, by the time load shedding ends, Zambia will be a desert. How can you solve the problems of climate change without protecting the forests that being destroyed everyday? We advised him about all these things but instead of listening, he has been busy stealing money and buying an expensive jet.”

Hichilema bragged that UPND was more popular in Western Province and mocked President Lungu over a circulating social media campaign video where a PF official is heard chanting the UPND slogan during a rally.

“Despite the guns that are in Kaoma, people are following us to our rallies and even the few that are going to his rallies, they are shouting Zambia Forward! That is a clear sign that people are fed up. Even their own official was campaigning for us at their rally. Those who understand Lunda heard that woman who kept on saying ‘Zambia kumbili’, kumbili is the local term for forward, she campaigned for us throughout the campaign, right in front of Lungu! It tells you that the feeling of the people is in favour of the UPND. Even those who are writing fake surveys that shows that he will win 2021, they are not accurate. He is just paying people to do those things. Now there’s even a Zimbabwean guy who has done one, he is just cheating himself. He can buy a bit of support during by elections but it will not work,” said Hichilema.

“I hope the Zambian people can remember that I told them about the militias and I got arrested for that. I was prosecuted for a year in that case but now we can see these militias everywhere. Kaizer Zulu is moving with thugs and guns on the dashboards. And he is saying ‘ending violence is all our responsibility’, but Lungu is failing to provide leadership. Mwanawasa ended it, but Lungu is failing. When we come in, violence will not be tolerated, there will be zero tolerance to violence, zero tolerance to corruption, and a president who will end it. He doesn’t even need to appeal to us, we are victims, he must tackle the violence of his own bedroom.”