By Nation Reporter
The United Party for National Development (UPND) yesterday launched its 2016 campaign with a rally at Freedom Park in Kitwe attended by hundreds of cadres, amid confusion following news that its vice-president for administration, Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM), had been arrested at Ndola International Airport.
The rally which was characterised by a poor turnout started after 15.00 hours, and was delayed as the organisers struggled to fill the Freedom Park, and had to wait for cadres to be brought in from other Copperbelt towns such as Kalulushi, Ndola, Luanshya and Chililabombwe.
Addressing the cadres Mr. Hichilema promised that he would fix the country’s problems once elected Zambia’s president.
Mr. Hichilema also outlined his 10-point plan which included the creation of jobs through support to business and revival of the mines, creation of business opportunities for women and youth and ensuring that orphans and vulnerable children were given bursaries or loans for their education.
The plan also includes the electrification of Zambia with a pledge to bring an end to load shedding.
He also promised to cut unnecessary red tape that hindered competitiveness, and to improve salaries and print payslips.
He promised that public service drivers would only renew their licences after 5 years as opposed to every year.
Mr. Hichilema struggled to hold the attention of the crowd that was more interested in the drone than in his message.
“Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, those are blessings from God. ….. That is BBC, Aljezeera CNN. The whole world is watching us, the whole world is with us today in Kitwe,
“ Lets pay attention so that Aljezeera and CNN can take proper messages, ….. I’m going to withdraw that cameraman for a short while. Camera take it away for a short while, take that camera away for a short while. It will come back we are telling CNN to come. Back in a few minutes time,” he said
Mr. Hichilema confirmed the arrest of his Vice-president but assured that the party would have him released in the shortest possible time.
The rally was also attended by former Vice-President Guy Scott, former deputy minister at State House Mulenga Sata, former deputy minister in the Ministry of Commerce Miles Sampa, former first lady Maureen Mwanawasa, former Vice President Lupando Mwape and Mutinta Mazoka, widow of UPND founder first President Anderson Mazoka.