THERE was jubilation at Lusaka’s Kabulonga Boys Secondary School when Hakainde Hichilema arrived to cast his vote on Thursday.

The voters abandoned their queues to catch a glimpse of the UPND leader who was accompanied by his wife, Mutinta.

The youthful crowd was heard shouting “we want change” while others were heard screaming “Bally, Bally, Bally”.

And addressing journalists after casting his vote, Hichilema expressed concern over the slow voting process.

The UPND leader, however, said he could tell from the mood of the voters that they wanted change.

“You can tell the mood, we are confident that we will carry the day. People want change and you can see it on their faces. You can hear what they want and the important thing is that the decision of who becomes President, who will lead this country, must be determined by the Zambian people, the voters not the people who count the votes. Everybody must be allowed to vote because I am concerned about the speed, it is slow. These people need to all vote. The power of who becomes the leader of this country lies in these people, these youths. I want to assure the youths that good days are ahead of them, better days are ahead of you. So please go and vote, protect your vote. We believe there will be a change of government, we are confident, then we will start the hard work to deliver to these people,” said Hichilema.

Hichilema is seeking the top leadership of the country for the sixth time having participated in 2006, 2008, 2011, 2015 and 2016.

Although President Edgar Lungu of the Patriotic Front and Hichilema appear to be front-runners in the Presidential election, 14 other contenders are taking part namely; Dr Fred M’membe of the Socialist Party, Nevers Mumba of the MMD, Andyford Banda of PAC, Enock Tonga of 3rd Liberation Movement, Sean Tembo of Patriots For Economic Progress, Chishala Kateka of New Heritage Party, Kasonde Mwenda of Economic Freedom Fighters, Stephen Nyirenda of National Restoration Party, Lazarus Chisela of Zambians United For Sustainable Development, Richard Silumbe of Leadership Movement, Highvie Hamududu of Party of National Unity and Progress, Harry Kalaba of Democratic Party, Charles Chanda of United Prosperous and Peaceful Zambia and Trevor Mwamba of United National Independence Party.