Don’t sell your voter’s card, it is your weapon to remove these mwankoles who are making you suffer, says UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema.

And Hichilema has called for the immediate extension of the voter registration process for as long as it will take for all eligible voters to be captured.

At a press briefing, Wednesday, Hichilema urged citizens to collect the money when approached but keep their voter’s cards.

“Zambians want unity, not divisions because unity will give us an opportunity to choose the right leadership, visionary leadership and run the country properly to benefit the people of Zambia. I want to say to those citizens, you got our NRC, you got your voters card, do not sell your NRC and your voters card. We hear these mwankoles are buying NRCs and voters cards, for what reason, is it for safe keeping? We know the reasons. Don’t sell your voters card that is your weapon to remove these mwankoles, those who are making you suffer. Please, if they give you a K100, tell them you have many children and it’s not enough, here is my voters card, give me a K1,000, get the money and keep your voter’s card,” Hichilema said.

He said PF was deliberately creating chaos in the voter registration process in order to disenfranchise citizens.

“Voter registration is chaotic to say the least. This chaos we are seeing in the registration process actually is connected to the chaos in the issuance of national registration cards. What is going on under the PF, lack of leadership, is actually sabotaging the electoral process. That’s how I can define it. This is sabotaging the 2021 elections because national registration cards have not been issued to all eligible citizens and Electoral Commission of Zambia must take interest in this because they are aware that without an NRC, you can’t register as a voter. That’s the situation,” he said.

“There is a haphazard movement of ECZ voter registration officials from one polling station to another, sneaking in polling stations like common thieves instead of being in all polling stations as was announced by the electoral commission, why? Machines breakdown, few staff, how can one individual take photos, sign the form, fill the form, laminate, one human being and that’s what is making citizens queue to get their voters cards, hours for 10 hours, for 15 hours, overnight in some cases and some people get tired and leave the queue and go home and never return, it means PF is deliberately creating chaos in the voter registration process to disenfranchise citizens.”

Hichilema further urged the Ministry of Home Affairs to come out clean on the registration of children as voters in Luapula.

“We need the Ministry of Home Affairs Department of Registration to dispute the information in the media where an under 10 child is holding an NRC on one hand and a voters card on another which is said to belong to them, that nation needs to know. If that’s not sabotage, what is it? If mobile issuance of NRCs is going on in Mambilima and Mwense now, which is the same areas where registration of NRCs has been going on since 2019 when it has not been going on in other provinces, if its not chaos that what should we call that? If it’s not rigging the elections what should we call that?” he said

And Hichilema urged ECZ to immediately extend the registration exercise.

“Immediately, there must be an extension to the voter registration exercise, immediately. We need the ECZ to refuse to be used by PF to favour PF only, there must be an extension to the voter registration exercise, immediately. After all the law is clear, the electoral act is clear that there shall be continuous voter registration, even this 30 days was against the law, it was an abrogation of the law…extend the voter registration process not by a month, not by two months but until all the eligible voters are registered to vote,” Hichilema said.

Meanwhile, Hichilema said he had never seen people suffer as much as they were suffering under the PF government.

“I have never seen people suffer like this in this country, I am old enough to know, this is worse, not even in the one party state. I encourage young people to read your history where you are coming from as a country. Giving you small handouts, K10 where will that take you, K100 where will take you? K100 you can’t even buy one bag of mealie meal. Imagine the way you are suffering now, after 2021 another five years, nikufa muma nyumba, simu zayamba kuchoka mumanyumba kailiileta weakness njala (you will die in your houses, you will not be coming out of your houses because hunger brings weakness) but I want PF to know that a hungry man is an angry man,” he said.

“All these issues are being pushed away in order talk about useless things, HH stole a farm, HH stole a house, I have gone to court, come and answer in court which house did I steal? Never, I was never brought up that way, I was brought up in a cultured way. What you don’t have is not yours, so many actions, you are disturbing courts starting so many actions of HH’s private properties which he bought 20 years, 25 years ago, I was only a boy, but I worked hard, its not a crime. Use that money to extend voters registration in accordance with the law.”