UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has promised to restore order in the country once elected Head of State in 2021.
And Hichilema says Zambians must know that the extension of the voter registration exercise by the Electoral Commission of Zambia is a right, and not a favour.
Meanwhile, Hichilema says some things which people say about him puzzle his wife as she wonders “whether there’s another HH out there”.
Speaking when he met religious leaders at the party secretariat, Monday, Hichilema said violence would be a thing of the past once he assumed office.
“We acknowledge that we are Christians, we should behave as a Christian nation. We shouldn’t pronounce that we are a Christian nation for convenience and tomorrow we are hiring thugs to beat other Christians. Then we are not living the Christian life. Talking of violence, it is our duty to pray against that violence, to detest it, to show that we do not accept it from whatever angle especially when the violence is driven by those who are occupying public office. I want to assure you that come next year, God’s will, courtesy of the people of Zambia, we will restore order in this country,” Hichilema said.
“Violence will be a thing of the past. You can’t invite victims of violence to come and say come and stop the violence with me but you are the one who is inflicting violence. You are the one who is occupying public office. You are the one using party cadres to control community lives. If you go to the bus stop, you risk being beaten. We have no law and order but that law and order is just a few months away. We can bring normalcy into our country. I am aware that churches get attacked by party cadres even when they are worshipping. It boils down to leadership. This disorder, this absence of law and order, this segregation of the rule of law has resulted in us citizens not enjoying our normal rights be it in church, be it in school, be it in a workplace.”
And Hichilema said the extension of the voter registration was a right, adding that ECZ should make sure all their equipment is working perfectly during this period.
“We need to see a country that confers equal opportunities for all our people. Citizens should not appeal to get their entitlement because an NRC is what confers you as a citizen of this country. Why should they beg for it? You are the Minister of Home Affairs, you are only supposed to facilitate across the country. I want to say to you, there are a lot of provinces that are not receiving NRCs because NRCs are now tied to a political agenda. We must detach NRCs from a political agenda. First, we are all Zambians created in the image of God. So where is the basis to segregate? Because when you give an NRC to a 16 year old and when they turn 18, they register as a voter and they vote you out, so you deny them an NRC. That is not what a public officer should do. NRCs have been mobile in four provinces from 2019 and they are continuing even now but in six provinces they are not. But God is the greatest equalizer, he will find a way of balancing because he is a God of justice,” Hichilema said.
“The chief electoral officer at ECZ [should] give voters cards to all eligible Zambians. That is a duty…Yes, we must pray but those who are responsible for those duties don’t need to be persuaded, they need to do that which is right. Zambians have spoken, how much noise are we supposed to make? Voter registration according to law is continuous so why choose 30 days only? The law says register everybody all the time. So this extension is not a favour abena Zambia, it is a right, it is a legal position. All we ask is that make sure that voter registration takes place at all 9,000 polling stations every day. Make sure machines are not breaking down for political reasons. You know that machines have also been politicized?”
Hichilema urged religious leaders to pray for economic recovery, saying people had suffered enough.
“So please carry love into the communities, in the churches and to all citizens of Zambia under these difficult times, extremely difficult times. People go to bed without food, some families eat once a day; those that have eaten at lunch, they will not eat at supper time. I have never seen this country suffer like this at my age. This is the worst time! I think we should pray to bring back smiles to the faces of Zambians. The absence of war does not mean peace, hunger means there is war in your homes. We must pray for hunger to end so that we can have true peace in the absence of war,” Hichilema said.
“The police have been rendered helpless. When they try and intervene, they will be retired in national interest. I speak for many of our members who have been victimized and brutalized for committing no crime, but for belonging to the UPND. When our colleagues on the Copperbelt in Luanshya, colleagues in Mpulungu are brutalized, even now just to drive people to go and get NRCs, to go and get voters cards our people are being arrested. Layson Nyirenda only a few days ago and his group in Chama was arrested for encouraging people to register as voters. Where is the crime there?” Hichilema wondered.
Meanwhile, Hichilema said his wife was always shocked by some of the allegations people made against him.
“So much is written about me. sometimes my wife says ‘is there another HH other than the one I married?’ These people write about me that I am a satanist and it is some Christians saying this son of God is a satanist. They know that I am an elder in church, I am a master guide. My wife’ asks ‘is there another HH? Do you wake up in the night and do certain things?’, but it is a price I have to pay. It comes with the territory, it comes with our search to provide leadership to favour the lives of the people. We understand what is going on, theRE are people who fear our competitiveness, who fear that when this country is run properly, people will look back and say that was a mistake. We want those to feel comfortable. We will keep them well, but let them give us time to serve God’s people. We have suffered enough! They need to see a different but better leadership. I want to say to you that we will not let you down,” said Hichilema.