UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema has asked the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to stop “playing games” with the voter registration exercise.

And Hichilema says citizens should let Bill 10 rest in peace while they focus on getting voter’s cards so that they can vote out PF next year.

Speaking when he featured on a special interview on Copperbelt’s Radio Icengelo, Wednesday, Hichilema said the ECZ should stop standing in the way of Zambians who want change in 2021.

“I am demanding, we are demanding that the Electoral Commission do not rig the election already, do not play games already because the people of Zambia will not allow you to play games because ukuchinja, inshita naifika (time for change has come) but we need a voter’s card. Kabiyeni mukusenda ama voter’s card mukwai, enchito mwakwata, enchito ndemilomba (go and get your voter’s cards, that the duty you have and that’s my request from you), it’s not something else that will help you but to get a voter’s card, but ECZ, lekeni uku chingila abantu. Stop standing in the way of the people of Zambia. Abantu bale fwaya ukuchinja ubuteko, balekeni bachinje ubuteko, balefya a better Zambia, balefwaya hope and help (people want a change of government, let them have it, the want a better Zambia, they want hope and help),” Hichilema said.

“No matter how long it takes, sendeni aka papala akaku votesha, eweapon yenu, echange yenu (get your voters card, it’s your weapon, it’s the change you seek). I know there are difficulties out there. The PF is failing, the ECZ is failing. As it was failing to register people for NRCs, it’s failing to register people for voting. It’s a deliberate plan, nomba abena kopala abena Zambia, mwinenuka iyo, make sure you go in big numbers to get your voter’s card. That is your passport to get on a plane to fly to your destination. That is your passport, your plane is change to take you to the UPND Government…We will not agree to ECZ playing games and rigging the elections at this stage, no. We don’t want another Trump behaviour here, we don’t want. So we want a proper electoral process, we want a proper registration of voters because abantu balefwaya ukuchinja (people want change).”

Hichilema asked ECZ to start registering voters in all polling stations using adequate equipment.

“Mwalilaya, palya (you promised) when there was the so called President’s national dialogue at Mulungushi on the electoral process. You announced to the nation that you are going to register people in all the 9,000 plus polling stations every day for 30 days. Ifwe twalimweba ati (we told you that) 30 days naichepa (is not enough) because ifunde, electoral process act of 2015 ilanda ati (the law says that) there will be continuous voter registration nomba why imwe mulechita, mwali cuttinga (but why are you cutting the) registration to 30 days only and even worse, mwalibepa abena Zambia, abena kopala (to the Zambians) that you will be in all the polling stations, you are not in all the polling stations. Finshi ifya shupa, what is the problem, twebeni (tell us), because now you have cut the seven days to 30 days per polling station. Mule enda kwati bakabolala, like thieves, you are not even announcing properly which polling stations you are going to be. So start announcing all the polling stations, you should be there, three four machines per polling station and for more than 30 days because 30 days naichepa. And then quickly, efficiency must be there,” he said.

“I am instructing that ECZ from now, the people of Zambia are instructing me to instruct ECZ, abena kopala are instructing me to instruct ECZ that they must have, in every polling station, they must have voter registration going on now. And they shouldn’t have one person in the polling station, they should have three, four people, three, four or five machines in every polling station, registering people to vote. Enchito twamipele, enchito abena Zambia bamipele iyo, that’s why mulefola ulupiya ulwingi sana imwe ba ECZ. Avanti bale lala nensala imwe mulefola ama thousands and thousands per month. Indalama mulefola shabena kopala, shabena Zambia. Bombeni umulimo, the reason you are being paid that salary is to register people as voters, as one of them. So I am demanding through the people of Zambia who have requested me.”

And Hichilema asked citizens to allow Bill 10 to rest in peace.

“Bill 10 yalifwa, bill yalelwala for two years, yali mu intensive care for two years. Nomba last week apa yalifwa, may the soul of Mr and Mrs Bill 10 rest in peace. Twalishika mukwai, amalilo is still there but I am having people. Palya twalishika nomba amalilo yapwe Aya bill 10 tumone ifya voter registration. Mukwai, kabiyeni mukasende ama voters cards. (Bill 10 is dead, it was sick for two years, it was in intensive care, now last week it died. We buried the bill, the funeral is still there. We buried so the funeral needs to finish so that we look at voter registration. Please go and register as voters),” he said.

And when asked when the party would appoint a vice-president, Hichilema said it would be done at the right time.

“Ifintu fyalikwata inshita, bushe imwe mwalyupa (everything has its own time, did you marry) when you were 10 years old? Mwalyupa at what age, when it was the right time. Teti upe umwanakashi (you can’t marry a woman) who is not ready for marriage. There is time for everything. Feel happy, we are working on it. At the right time, listening to the people of Zambia also, we are listening to advice. Tatulefwaya ukupanga mistake iyo (we don’t want to make a mistake), but when the decision is made, you will be very happy. And because we lead a team that will help bring down the cost of living that will be committed to the lives of the people of Zambia,” said Hichilema.