UNITED Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema yesterday concluded his three-month presidential campaign on an ecclesiastical note, praying to God for wisdom to govern the country should Zambians give him the privilege of becoming the sixth republican president during today’s election.
In an ecumenical plea, Mr Hichilema said Zambia was a Christian nation and that it would remain so under his presidency because nothing was possible without the will and mercy of God.
Mr Hichilema said he was going to dedicate his presidency to serving the poor, orphans, widows and the vulnerable by ensuring that they had access to basic needs which he said could not be afforded under the Patriotic Front (PF) Government.
Addressing his last rally in Mandevu themed “No More PF” Mr Hichilema said Zambians had been subjected to excruciating suffering with increased poverty, levels disease and unemployment, declaring that time had come for the ruling party to leave Government because it had been nothing but a failed project.
“I pray to God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that he should give me wisdom to govern this country when Zambians give me the rare privilege of becoming republican president after tomorrow (today) election. I will dedicate the victory to serving the poor, widows, orphans and vulnerable because that is the desire of God that we should all have access to basic needs. Agriculture, education and health have collapsed under the PF and Zambia needs a leadership that would right the wrongs and that leadership is in the UPND,” Mr Hichilema said.
He reiterated his pledge that he was not going to sweep the vendors off the streets because that was their survival and pledged that his government would provide soft loans to marketeers so that they could grow their small businesses.
He said the police and the military would have their rations which had been abolished by the PF Government restored because most governments in the world were taking care of their security personnel.
“I am aware that the PF cadres have taken over the markets and bus stations and are illegally levying traders and bus drivers. After tomorrow (today), I will make sure that the councils take over the running of markets and bus stations so that they could generate revenue and clear the backlog of salary arrears and pay retirees who keep on protesting.
The UPND will bring sanity to the governance of the country and I kneel before you to vote for me so that I can pay back what I owe Zambians through the free education this country gave me,” Mr Hichilema said.
Mr Hichilema said he had traversed the country and listened to people’s suffering and that citizens were not interested in tribalism and regionalism but development.
He said he was going to break the spirit of tribalism that had grown to threatening levels under the PF, declaring that never again was Zambia going to be divided on the basis of ethnicity and regionalism.
He appealed to the electorate to make sure that they voted because without their vote, it was possible that the election could be lost because the PF was allegedly planning to rig it.