UPND members should desist from retaliating in situations of physical confrontation because this year will be tense as Zambians prepare to go for elections, UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema has said.

In his New Year’s message, Mr Hichilema said his members should spread the message of peace because they were holding the key to economic liberation.

Mr Hakainde said UPND was not a violent party but was aimed at fighting poverty, ignorance and propaganda.

“We are aware that our friends want us to take over their label of violent party, but we are not violent, our job is to fight poverty, ignorance and propaganda. That is what UPND is known for, being an issue-based party,” he said.

Mr Hichilema said it was possible to move Zambia forward, but that it could only happen if all the people were working together.

He called for all Zambians to arm themselves with NRCs and voters’ cards and to mobilise and join the movement for change and progress.

“We cannot go into this important year without setting personal goals that we would like to achieve, and doing so will be easy to know who among the pool of politicians will come through for you to achieve your personal aspirations.”

He advised his members to be responsible for making things happen, by acting on them to ensure that Zambia remained the country its people want it to be. “The potential within our people and our borders remains truly great, and with a caring, intelligent government that is willing to work hard, root out corruption and understands that it is the job of elected officials to serve the Zambian people, not themselves, we can achieve great things.

Zambia goes to the polls on August 11 this year.

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