UPND is not going to drop the presidential petition-HH
United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema has said that the trophy he received in South Africa stimulates the party’s will to continue pursuing the presidential petition to curb electoral malpractices and foster for an Electoral Commission that is independent from government interference.
Speaking at the UPND Secretariat yesterday, Mr Hichilema said the Africa Freedom Award he received from the Germany headed Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom is not for his personal glory but that of all UPND members as they too played their part in fighting their fight to restore rule of law and respect for human rights.
Hichilema said the party is not going to drop the presidential petition because the same electoral malpractice that were seen in the August 2016 General Elections will be repeated in future elections hence, there is need to rectify them.
“The trophy I received in South Africa stimulates the party’s will to continue pursuing the presidential petition to curb electoral malpractices and foster for an electoral commission that is independent from government interference” Hichilema said.
The women, under the auspices of UPND national women chairperson Namakau Kabwiku, staged the event to officially receive the 2017 Friedrick Naumann Foundation Africa Freedom Award that was presented to Hichilema in South Africa on October 27.
“This function has caught me by surprise. UPND women came to my home and said ‘we heard that you were recognised, we want to thank you for the job well done for being the winner of the 2017 Friedrick Naumann Foundation Africa Freedom Award’. It is given on a competitive basis – you don’t apply! A decision was made at global level to award your community worker, HH. This award was not won by Hakainde but by each of you because of the resilience and your refusal to shed blood after the August 11, 2016 elections, which were clearly manipulated. You our women decided not to shed blood,” Hichilema said.
Mr Hichilema, while singling out the womenfolk, reiterated that had it not been for the understanding and cooperation of the party membership, there would have been confusion in the aftermath of last year’s general elections.
“When our election was stolen, we chose not to go in the streets – not because we can’t fight, no! But we decided to follow a civilised route, which is invoking the Constitution of Zambia through a presidential petition. We asked you not to go in the streets and for sure, you didn’t! Many countries would have gone to war but we provided leadership, even when the Constitution was being breached,” Hichilema said. “We are still in court today – osanamiwa (don’t be cheated). We’ll continue pushing for this petition so that our right to be heard can be respected. We don’t have fear and we are not going to relent to push for a civilised way of doing things.”
The opposition leader added that “this award is yours, continue supporting us and continue showing strength.”