By Nation Reporter
HAKAINDE Hichilema says President Edgar Lungu is scared of a fair and free electoral contest and that is why he has asked the opposition leader to withdraw from the presidential race in the August general elections.
Mr Hichilema has vowed that he was not going to pull out of the presidential contest because, according to him, the Head of State was losing control of State power.
Mr Hichilema said in a statement yesterday that President Lungu’s threats that he was going to deal with him (Hichilema) if the opposition leader was going to reject the outcome of the general elections were aggressive and inflammatory.
He said President Lungu’s threats were undermining his desire to promote peace and unity in the country particularly that there was tension among citizens as a result of the political violence that had rocked the country in the last few weeks.
Mr Hichilema said he was worried that President Lungu was sending messages which were not uniting the country, instead of advocating for peaceful means of dealing with grievances in a democracy.
He said the UPND was calling on its supporters to turn out in big numbers to vote for change on August 11th so that President Lungu could be defeated beyond dispute.
Mr Hichilema said the UPND had schemed a plan on how to protect its vote but hastened to state that the plan would only work if all its supporters and members turned up to vote on August 11th.
“We have heard reports that President Lungu has threatened to sort me out if I do not accept defeat in the upcoming elections at a rally where my running mate Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba and I seem to have been the main topic of his address.
Such reports would be laughable were it not for the violent and manipulative undertones they carry.
‘‘Threats like this are often used when people feel control is slipping away and it has become abundantly clear that President Lungu is now afraid of a fair and free electoral contest,” Mr Hichilema said. Mr Hichilema said President Lungu as Head of State had to act responsibly instead of threatening political opponents.
He claimed that should the UPND form government after the general elections, his leadership would not waste time pursuing former leaders