PF national mobilisation committee chairperson Richard Musukwa says UPND president Hakainde Hichilema should not waste time writing to regional bodies like SADC and the AU over alleged electoral malpractices, but just concede defeat in the August 12 general election.

Commenting on Hichilema’s letter to the African Union and SADC over what he claimed was the “unfair manner in which the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) conducted the voter registration process,” Musukwa said Hichilema did not have the numbers to win.

“Clearly, from the opposition leader, instead of postulating and dramatizing, he should just concede defeat ahead of the August 12 elections because he has no numbers. We are aware, as PF, that for a long time now the UPND had engaged election image builders and consultants and strategists who have canvassed the entire country. We are aware that they have given him a report that he has no numbers. For the first time, we request Mr Hichilema to be a nationalist. Even in defeat, there should be magnanimity, he must come out clean and give Zambians a break for what he did in 2016 by ensuring that he concedes defeat peacefully. If he is hoping that there will be chaos, it is chaos that is hovering around themselves as UPND because their strategists and mechanisms they have been using to win an election have failed,” Musukwa said in an interview.

“Elections are won on the grassroots with the people of Zambia and not on social media. We have been aware that they have been running social media accounts of one person managing 500 accounts, we are aware. So, the popularity they talk about cannot commensurate with what is on the ground. I am sure that the thrust for UPND and Hakainde to rule Zambia is about development, if I am not mistaken. If he means well for Zambia, he should not be a cry baby all the time asking ba international community to paint Zambia black! Fortunately, the people he is talking about, they have structures and institutions across Zambia and the world and they know that he has no numbers. For once, HH must be nationalist and protect the interest of Zambians. In fact, every time he asks the international community to do that, they are always laughing at him! They are actually wondering what country does he hope to lead? Every time you have an issue in your house, you quickly rush to the neighbours. And the neighbours have actually more problems than you, so they keep wondering why you are asking them to solve the problem?”

And Musukwa insisted that Zambians could not afford to change a winning team led by President Edgar Lungu.

“What we ask of UPND is to be a credible opposition party, to provide checks and balances and not to be only preoccupied in State House. You don’t win elections by making noise. We don’t change a winning team, Zambians have realised that Edgar Lungu and PF is a winning team and we don’t change a winning team. What we do to a winning team is to consolidate it in order to ensure that they score in other areas where they have not scored enough goals. This is the preoccupation of President Edgar Lungu to ensure that where we have not created an impact in terms of development across the country, we upgrade those areas. You can’t disturb such a coach like Edgar Lungu whose thrust is for the interest of the people of Zambia,” Musukwa said.

“PF is a popular party across Zambia and it has attracted men and women across Zambia who have expressed interest in standing on the PF ticket. Naturally, we have attracted a lot of applicants across the Republic of Zambia and that is in our quest to ensure that there is competitiveness across the adoption process. We don’t require heart-feinted people. Before we have finished the adoption process, they are busy saying, ‘I will stand as an independent,’ those are not our genuine people. If you are not genuine PF, you cannot use PF as a platform to rise to authority.”

Musukwa, who is also Chililabombwe PF member of parliament, urged Hichilema to address matters of the voters register internally rather than trying to discredit Zambia to the international community.

“So, the postulation of UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema and UPND itself, those are some of the failed strategies that they have used in the past to discredit the electoral system of Zambia. They will not work. If he has issues, he should address them internally instead of running to an international platform to discredit Zambia. But the goodness is that the last 20 years he has been standing, the international community knows that it is the same story he has been using before losing. This time he is losing with a landslide loss! Running a country is not like running a katemba business, it is not like privatisation. Running a country requires very sober and credible people that are able to run through all the facets of a country. That is what it requires,” said Musukwa.