Attack Poverty Not People

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Our democracy is under attack.

Zambians are now engaged in two battles, the first to save our economy and the second to save our democracy. These are battles we cannot afford to lose. We will only win the war on poverty if we win both battles.

The action we ask of you is to turnout in the upcoming elections and vote in huge numbers. For the five months until then we should use that time as responsible citizens to have an open debate on various issues of national importance. As UPND our platform will focus on our plan to turnaround the economy so that we can create jobs, reduce the cost of living and raise the necessary funds to deliver improvements to our education and healthcare system that benefit all Zambians. It will be matched by our commitments to good governance, which include delivering the Bill of Rights to protect the freedoms of each and every Zambian, reforming the Public Order Act and fighting corruption through increased transparency.

While we may talk of battles and war let us be clear once again that the only weapons you will ever need to fight on the UPND team are your NRC and Voters cards. Violence is never acceptable. We are not in the business of attacking people. When we attack our fellow countrymen and women we all lose and we all suffer.

Those who use such methods cannot be called UPND supporters. We know this because, not only has our leadership been vocal against the use of violence time and time again, but violent and personal attacks undermine everything that we are proposing. They are the enemies of growth, development and progress.

Prices will not be reduced through violent means. Power shortages will not come to an end through violent means. Instead in the UPND we will attack high prices, we will attack job losses, we will attack university closures and most importantly we will attack poverty.

Do not let others distract you with personal attacks and wild accusations. Do not let them fill you with hate as they turn us into a nation of negativity. Instead let us continue to discuss and debate matters such as how to fast track diversification of the economy, how to create jobs, how to support our SMEs to get off the ground, how to empower our farmers to increase productivity and how to provide our children with a better future.

Critically evaluate the promises the PF made and what the PF has delivered during their five years in office. Stay focused on the important issues and encourage your friends and family to do the same. Five months can feel a long time to wait for direction and leadership, particularly for those who are harassed and persecuted because they are brave enough to wear the UPND colours on their chest, but if we don’t continue on this path then we risk losing the fight against poverty altogether. As we evaluate PF, “Do you have the money they promised you, in your pocket?” If not, they lied and that is reason enough to kick them out.

Hakainde Hichilema
UPND President

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