PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema says his government has been able to do a lot more within the few weeks of being in office which PF could never have done.

And President Hichilema says UPND could have performed better in Luapula Province during the August elections had they been allowed to campaign freely.

Addressing Chisamba residents as he campaigned for UPND Council chairperson candidate for the Chisamba Council elections, Sunday, President Hichilema said his government had managed to end violence in markets, secured more COVID-19 vaccines and also signed the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) with a number of lenders.

“Let me tell you what we have done in one month and three weeks which PF would have never done at all. We told you number one that we will end violence, and we have ended violence in the markets. Anyone who brings violence in the markets, we will not agree to that. We want our women and men to trade freely. All those thugs in intercity, in Kulima tower, have run away. We have brought peace, we have brought development. In the last one month and three weeks, I went to Washington, met serious colleagues. They now realize [that in] Zambia, there is a leadership now. We went and negotiated that we do not have a situation where debt will constrain our economy. The money we are going to serve from that agreement which I did within two, three weeks of being in government, PF could not do that for 10 years because they did not know what to do. We know what to do and that’s why we were able to do it in a short time,” he said.

President Hichilema said his government would ensure that more money was disbursed in other constituencies to avoid wastage.

“From January next year, we are presenting our first budget. When we saw the way the money was used under PF, the wastage, we made a decision that we are going to move more money from Lusaka where the thieves are and take it to the people in Liteta, in Chisamba, in the constituencies, and take more money there. I want the people of Liteta to know that we are using the PF budget, we are using the PF allocated resources until December, two months from now. Then we will shut this shop called PF and its problems. We are shutting it in December and starting our own programmes and that is when you are going to see the difference,” he said.

“PF had paid contractors for two years; 2020, 2021. I’m sure they knew they were losing so they locked us into a contract which they negotiated. They knew that if they had not done that, we were going to negotiate a better contract, but we are coming, we are coming after December. So whatever fertilizer you will get this year, even the delays in the distribution of fertilizer, that was the program. But yesterday, (Saturday) I issued instructions that from tomorrow (Monday) even though the PF had put a different programme, from tomorrow the fertilizer must start going to the farmers. They also decided how much maize we will buy from farmers. We found out that they had decided to buy very little maize from farmers. They had even planned when to close the marketing season. One week ago I realized the farmers still had maize, the farmers did not have maize bags, I issued instructions to open the maize season and buy more maize from the farmers and support the farmers with more maize bags. All of this we are doing within the PF budget, within the challenges we found.”

The President also urged Chisamba residents to vote for the UPND candidate in the upcoming council chairperson by-elections.

“This council chairman, when you vote for him, you are not voting just for him, you are voting to keep the UPND in office to allow HH, the UPND, the ministers that are here, the ministers that are not here to advance the development projects which we have just started,” he said.

And President Hichilema said UPND could have performed better in Luapula Province had they been allowed to campaign freely.

Speaking in Mansa, Monday, President Hichilema thanked the people of Luapula for voting for his party, stating that his government was determined to change the welfare of the people.

“My first duty this morning is to thank you, the people of Mansa, Mwense, Kashikishi, Chiengi, Samfya, Luapula and everyone for voting for us in August. For allowing us through your vote to take leadership in this country. Thank you so much. The vote from Luapula helped us to win the election under very difficult circumstances, to win it by a landslide. It was very difficult for us to campaign here. You know that I had to come here in Mansa at night. I was not allowed to campaign. If we were allowed to campaign we could have done better here in Luapula. That is why going forward, we are going to change the way this country works, we are going to give freedoms to our people. We want to bring peace, we want to bring freedom. It’s already being felt across the country,” he said.

“Our duty is to ensure that we bring development, we bring investments, we create jobs, we bring opportunities for our people. We are very determined to change the welfare of our people, very determined. We know [and] we understand the steps that we need to take. We are working quietly, but you will see those steps very shortly including making sure that the minerals here, the timber here work for our people. We cannot have minerals where our own people are not benefiting from.”

President Hichilema further urged residents of Luapula to vote for more UPND members of parliament in 2026 in order to have more ministers coming from the province.

“Abena Luapula, mwishalila munuma (people of Luapula, don’t remain behind). We must work very hard to produce MPs here. I promised the people of Zambia that the first cabinet of the UPND will have cabinet members from all the provinces. Even if we did not get an MP here, I used the nomination process and you have a cabinet minister here. 2026 give me more MPs, you will have more ministers. Tubombele chapamo (we should work together),” said President Hichilema.

Meanwhile, the Head of State observed the National Day of Prayer at a United Church of Zambia (UCZ) church in Mwansabombwe.

He said Zambia remained a Christian Nation that prays everyday.