UPND is ready to thwart any scheme by the ruling Patriotic Front to rig elections next year, says party president Hakainde Hichilema.
But Patriotic Front (PF) deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri has advised Mr Hichilema to avoid early celebrations in next year’s general elections.
Mr. Hichilema said the party functionaries would stop the PF from rigging the election was inevitable.
He claimed that the people of Zambia were behind the UPND in its effort to form government next year, saying the opposition was the only party that had the interest of the people of Zambia at heart.
“The PF can only win next year’s election if they rigged but we are prepared to stop them from rigging. The people are willing and ready to stop the way the PF run government. They want a complete change of doing politics by bringing in people who are focused,” Mr Hichilema said.
But Mrs Phiri said Mr Hichilema should avoid causing unnecessary panic over unverified results as was the case in this year’s presidential by-election.
She said the UPND should wait for official declaration of the winner and not start dreaming about State House.
“I want to warn UPND and their people that come next year they should not launch early celebrations and cause unnecessary panic on the people as it was the case this year in the presidential by-election this year. They should wait for official announcement of the winner, they should also know that they should stop dreaming of being in State House,’’ Mrs Phiri said.
She said the UPND should be calm and relaxed and should maintain peace during next year’s election in order to pave way for President Edgar Lungu’s return to the presidency.
Mrs Phiri also said the current high numbers of voters registering in Lusaka and Copperbelt was an indication that the PF would win the elections.
‘’We are encouraged by the high numbers of voters who have registered in Lusaka and Copperbelt, for us this means that our President stands a very good chance to win again,’’ she said.
Mrs Phiri said the top three provinces with the highest turnout in voter registration which were Lusaka, Copperbelt and Eastern province were strongholds of the ruling party and PF was likely to maintain its popularity in those areas. She said it should worry the opposition UPND that many people in those areas were turning up in huge numbers to register.
Mrs Phiri said Southern Province would have recorded high numbers of voters registering but it would not be compared to the three provinces which were not the only places where PF received support.
She said it would be very disappointing for HH to be abandoned in areas like Southern Province and other places where he assumed he has support.