UPND Alliance chairperson Charles Milupi says the alliance remains confident of scooping this week’s general elections given the overwhelming support from Zambians.

And NDC president Josephs Akafumba says it will be suicidal to vote for PF because it has two visionless people leading it.

At a media briefing, Monday, Milupi said numbers which gather around UPND Alliance leader Hakainde Hichilema wherever he goes are an indication that people are with him.

“We in the UPND Alliance have traversed the length and breadth of this country under very difficult circumstances. Despite that, the reports we receive when we go around the country, especially our presidential candidates Mr Hakainde Hichilema and the running mate Madam Mutale Nalumango and all the UPND Alliance presidents, it is overwhelming that the nation is standing behind the UPND Alliance and its candidates. The polls that we have taken professionally indicate that anywhere between 73 and 77 per cent, [that] is where we are heading and this is a fact,” Milupi said.

“I think that the numbers that gather around Mr Hakainde Hichilema wherever he has gone to various parts of this country whether it is Mpulungu, Kaoma, Mwinilunga, Livingstone and other places, indicates that people are with him and people are with the UPND Alliance. It’s not only the numbers that we see but the enthusiasm that the people welcome him with, including the messages of support we get from our citizens. So we are confident in terms of voting and we are confident that Mr Hakainde Hichilema and the UPND alliance will carry the day on 12th August 2021.”

He said ECZ’s association with the PF during campaigns had cast doubts about the commission’s ability to deliver a free and fair election.

“We want to highlight some of the challenges that have been brought upon in this electoral process by institutions that were set up to ensure that we have free, fair and transparent elections. I wish to remind you that sometimes in Africa, electoral commissions appear to exist to ensure the continuation in office of sitting Presidents. When we look at the behavior of the Electoral Commission of Zambia, we see no exception in this particular regard. ECZ’s supervision of the electoral process for this election in our view has been abysmal and their cooperation with the PF cast doubt on ECZ’s ability to deliver a free, fair, credible and transparent election,” he said.

“A few examples include that of the chaotic registration of voters which we all know what has happened. In certain regions, numbers have appeared to have gone down, and in certain regions perceived to be the ruling party’s stronghold, the numbers have gone up. Registration of foreigners, some of them posting from their own countries as reported by that sub chief in Mozambique that they will be coming here to support PF. Ballot paper delivery system is in shambles. We have seen examples of ballot paper boxes being tempered with. Sometimes when we see all these things being tolerated or perpetuated by ECZ, we question whether this is barely competence on their part or a calculated scheme to advantage Mr Lungu and PF at the expense of UPND.”

Milupi warned President Lungu against arresting Hichilema on claims that he committed a crime during the privatization of the mines.

“Mr Lungu whilst on the Copperbelt Province issued threats that if he wins the elections on Thursday, shortly after he will arrest Mr Hakainde Hichilema simply because of what occurred during the privatisation process. We want to warn Mr Lungu that if he is talking about arresting someone for wrong doing, first of all HH has not committed any crime. If it is arresting people for wrong doings, let me remind Mr Lungu for the crimes that he has committed including abrogating constitution provisions for which action has not been taken against him…he must look back to see if he is not liable himself to be arrested for that breach,” he said.

Meanwhile, Akafumba said it was suicidal for the country to vote for PF.

“We are where we are today because we chose a leader on whose own admission said he did not know what he was going to do in the State House and he had completely no vision. This is a leader we have run through with from 2015 to date and yet he is still asking for five years. The question that all the voters out there must ask themselves is, is Zambia better off today in 2021 or in 2015 when President Lungu became President? That’s the question you should ask yourself when you go to vote. Because of having no vision, he has gone to pick another visionless leader in the name of [Professor] Nkandu Luo. Luo is no stranger to public noise,” he said.

“First, she worked at UTH, it was a disaster, she worked at chiefs it was the same, she worked at the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, and when there was an outbreak of cattle disease in Western Province, she said she was going to kill all the cattle at no compensation. At the Ministry of Higher Education, she removed the bursary and yet this is a person you are elevating to be the Vice President and lead the country to join a failure who has failed to lead this country. Zambians will be committing a very serious perpetual poverty if they voted for PF.”

Also speaking at the same event was alliance partner Daniel Shimunza who said claims that PF planned to remove the Christian Nation declaration were false.

“This declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation is settled once and for all in the minds of the Zambian people especially those that come from the Christian community in this country. The declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation cannot be tempered with not even by the UPND Alliance because it is enshrined in the Constitution. The lies that have been perpetrated that when the UPND Alliance forms government, the declaration will be removed and other things will be introduced are a mere fabrication and misinformation by the PF government,” said Shimunza.