UPND SECRETARY general Steven Katuka says the Dundumwezi voting pattern will be replicated across the opposition party’s strongholds next year because the people are convinced more than ever before that there is need for regime change.
In 2016, President Edgar Lungu got only 252 votes in that area while his rival, Hakainde Hichilema, of the UPND got more than 30,000 votes.
In an interview, Katuka said the people in Southern, Western and North-Western Provinces believed in Hichilema’s leadership and saw him as their president.
“Without a doubt what happened in Dundumwezi will repeat itself all over. You see, there are areas where HH is the president, they don’t see any other President, for them, he is the President. And for sure that will repeat itself. You see, our friends when they have support of this magnitude in their area they say that is their stronghold, popularity, that’s what they say. But when we have support of this magnitude, they say it tribalism, regionalism and so on. But it’s just a fact that if I go to Mwinilunga, if you come with me in Mwinilunga, I am a small president,” Katuka said.
He said PF should not label that kind of voting as tribalism as they also had strongholds of their own.
“People will walk 20km to come and receive me before I enter the Boma. People have seen and suffered under this rule and that’s what will make it worse. So everyone has what they call their stronghold where people believe in you. That is common, you don’t expect them to rule Southern Province, that’s why they are doing everything possible to disenfranchise our people. But otherwise, that support is always there and it will always be there. No one should even doubt that. If he (HH) stepped his foot in North-Western Province, it’s the same. You will see the crowds and those are genuine crowds, not those crowds you saw in Kasama and after the elections we lost that vote. There we are sure that we have decent human beings, when they promise you a vote, they will give you. But we know there are people in other areas who are deceitful, they will pretend to be with you just to get something out of you. When it’s time for the vote, they will do the opposite. So I know that that support is there is Southern Province, it’s there in Western and it’s there in North-Western Province. It’s there everywhere in those areas and we don’t even doubt it,” Katuka said.
He said UPND was fighting to rule the country because it had a better vision than what has been exhibited so far.
“You know, we have been in this for a long time from the [Anderson] Mazoka time until now and we say our vision has not been fulfilled. Only when we are tested in office will we say we have passed on the vision and until then, don’t judge us and say we can’t do it. We are saying give us a chance, you will see what we will do. If after five years you see no improvement in the quality of life, then you can vote us out,” he said.
“We will gladly say thank you very much, don’t give us another chance. In fact, that’s the way it should be. When you are given a chance to serve people and you can clearly see that you have failed, what you should say is thank you very much and resign or leave office honorably.”
Katuka charged that the PF was deliberately disfranchising people in their strongholds to reduce the number of those who would vote.
“But some don’t want to leave office even when they have failed people. That’s why our people have been disenfranchised terribly. The National Registration Cards, for example, was a total sham. They were given instructions not to register people in our strongholds. Even if they are disputing that fact, it’s a fact. Someone would come at a centre, register four people and say the machine has stopped working,” said Katuka.
“And then they would stay a week without working. And then they would come and say we didn’t bring the generator so we cannot work and that’s it. This happened in so many areas. However, we still have those on the old roll. Those that voted in 2016 are still there and those are the ones you see going to get voter’s cards because they want to vote this government out.”