UPND president Hakainde Hichilema says whether President Edgar Lungu wants it or not, he is leaving office after the August 12 general elections.

Addressing UPND youths, Friday, Hichilema said it was time for change because Zambians had experienced unprecedented suffering.

“It is time for change! The time for change has come. I have seen the power of youths. The soldier of the youth party is a youth. Whether Lungu wants or doesn’t want, 12th August, he is going. The owners of the party are the youths. We have changed the strategy, not tomorrow not next year, this is the time for the youths of Zambia. I am grateful that the UPND and NDC youths have come together on this day, I am very happy to see both of you today. In this country there is suffering. If you go and buy cooking oil, you pay K200, next week K300, the other week K400, how are we going to stay like this? This shows that change is coming. The people who are going to bring change are the youths. The people who brought independence are the youths. [Kenneth] Kaunda was a youth, ba Sikota Wina was a youth in the 1960s, they were youths,” Hichilema said.

“The people who bring change are the youths nobody else. Youths are the majority, youths are the ones suffering. We need to bring change, we need to bring order in our country, we send the youths to school after school, the youths need to get jobs or businesses. For that to happen, it will only happen if we deliver change. You should only speak about change. Even as you go in your heart, you should be knowing that 12th August it’s change. We need to remove suffering, I have never seen Zambia suffering like the way it is suffering today. The one who is making this country suffer is PF.”

Hichilema urged the youths not to vote for President Lungu or any other candidate that might stand on the PF ticket.

“Whether Lungu stands or they put someone else, you should remove them, because it is the PF who are making people to suffer in this country. People are sleeping with hunger, them they are sleeping on sacks of money, where are they removing the sacks of money? That money is yours. When you see some in PF with money, just know that that is your money. Let us change! We can only change if we unite, there should be no fighting. The war that we have is to remove PF. When you hear someone speaking about tribalism, you should say ‘you are dull’. Does hunger choose a tribe? All of us are suffering, there are no jobs. Have you ever seen government having no money but the people in PF have money? Then they stole government’s money and put it in their pockets. That is why we need change,” Hichilema said.

“12th August we should unite to remove the mwankoles. For that to happen, we need to start campaigning, the voter register was already released. We need to go to polling stations even those who were elected in the NMC, they should also go to polling stations. Change should be the song. Even Kapenta is not seen because it has become expensive. Men are afraid to even get married because they are saying what am I going to feed her. After 12th August, marriages will start and children will be kept well. Campaign for change, campaign for jobs, campaign for businesses.”

Hichilema called on the NDC youths to unite with the UPND to remove the PF from government.

“My friends in the NDC, there is no change if you go this side and the UPND goes the other side. We need to unite. ‘No they have told us to go this side’, then the Mwankoles they will continue making you suffer. Let us not depart from each other. If someone tells you to leave them, just know that person is eating well and you are suffering. The war that we’ll have is to fight hunger. I am in pain when I go to sleep, I remember that my friends in the compound have not eaten, they have slept with hunger. Then a person goes and buys a plane for $300 million, we will sell that plane. These are not jokes. Don’t be lied to that we cannot sell that military plane, the money that bought that plane is Zambians. We must stop playing games. When Zambians are suffering any person who calls himself a leader must pay attention. We are at war for social and economic liberation,” said Hichilema.