UPND president Hakainde Hichilema says the party is close to reaching its destination of forming government next year because the PF had lamentably failed to deliver on its campaign promises.

And Hichilema says it is clear that those who accused the UPND of being gassing masterminds were the ones involved in the illegal acts.

Speaking to UPND youths at the party secretariat in Lusaka, Thursday, Hichilema said the UPND had walked a long distance and were now close to their destination and within reach of forming government in 2021.

“As a country, we all agree that PF has failed. They said, ‘more money in the pockets,’ there is no money in the pockets; they said, ‘more jobs,’ there are no jobs; they said, ‘taxes will be lower,’ but taxes are higher! Even to drink water, you are taxed; even to go to the toilet, you are taxed. Now, because PF has failed, there is only one party that can take Zambia forward. That is your party, that is my party, that is a party for the people of Zambia. I want you to know that we are close to our destination; we have walked a long distance; we have walked a long distance, but we are there; we are very close! This is the time you should work even harder so that we can liberate the people of Zambia. You must not lose hope because help is on the way,” Hichilema said.

“Nothing should stand in our way so that we can liberate this country. When we cross the river Jordan, and I am seeing the banks, they are there, we are close. Lungu alungusha chalo! My dear friends, youths in Zambia, youths in the UPND I know that the country is destroyed; I know that children are not going to school; I know that you don’t have jobs; I know that mealie meal is nowhere to be seen; I know the sufferings you are going through at home…they are a lot. I want you to know that we share your pain. I, as HH and the leaders of this party, we share your pain. We share the pain for the people of Zambia; we share the pain of the youth because they are the future of this country. We all know that before we used to argue, some people were saying that PF will deliver. We know that the three principles the PF campaigned for have all collapsed!”

He instructed party members to protect their votes at all costs in 2021.

“We have to campaign, to register, to get NRCs and voters’ cards and on the voting day, we vote so that we can win big! And after voting this time round, I am giving you instructions ahead: protect your vote at all costs! Protect your vote at all costs! The one who is going to steal the vote, that is his own problem. We must take over Lusaka, we must take over Copperbelt. The youth of Zambia, the women of Zambia, be like Julia Chikamoneka, who was able to demonstrate her role for independence; we must follow in her footpath; we must work hard as a group; we must work hard as a party; we must work hard as a country,” he urged.

“Don’t say, ‘HH protect our votes,’ HH is only one person; it is you to protect. When we cross the bridge, which is soon my job and our job as an economic team, is to turn around the economy to send every child of Zambia to school, even if that child is an orphan. Education and skills is number one; number two is to give you jobs; I know how to get jobs; number three is to give you businesses.”

Hichilema pledged to restore law and order in the country on the first day he is elected Republican President.

“When we come in the morning we are sworn in, first, there will be law and order that afternoon; then, that afternoon, the kwacha will appreciate against the dollar; that afternoon, any citizen can go to a bus stop and no one will beat them; you can go to the market wearing any party regalia and no one will beat them. My job is to bring law and order, not this confusion we are seeing under PF,” Hichilema said.

“There is confusion and there is disorder because there is a shortage of leadership. You are worried about the shortage of mealie meal? My worry is that there is a shortage of leadership. That is our promise to the people of Zambia, you do your job, register as voters, get NRCs turnout to vote; protect your vote until we are sworn in and then my job is to deliver you to Canaan.”

And Hichilema said it was clear that those who accused the UPND of being the masterminds of the gassing incidents were the ones perpetrating the illegal acts.

“They wanted to accuse us on gassing, but it was them, it is clear, it is known. I want say to say to you, the people who suffered under gassing organized by those people you know; the people who died over police bullets, we want to know because it is clear those people were killed illegally and we want to ensure that we have that information and it can be used at the right time. But our job, right now, is to deliver UPND into government and the rest, leave it to me,” said Hichilema.

“Are you still doubting HH? How can you doubt? When there is no rain, it is HH; if there is no mealie meal, it is HH; then HH is the one who has solutions! You are in a right party; you should be proud of yourselves. Recruit more members, don’t fight against yourselves. I am proud of your commitment.”