OPPOSITION UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema has denied being a Masonist, saying he was a Christian at Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) where he was a church elder.
Mr Hichilema was reacting to assertions by Bishop Edward Chomba who has since been discredited by the Patriotic Front (PF), who at the ruling party’s rally in Kabwe alleged that the UPND leader was a Masonist and a Satanist.
“Someone at a PF rally in Kabwe on Sunday said I am a Masonist. I am not a Masonist and am not aware about it. If he is Masonist, that is his business. I am Christian at SDA where I am a church elder,” Mr Hichilema said.
Mr Hichilema advised Zambians to be serious when electing a republican President because running a country was not a joke.
Mr Hichilema said the bad leadership of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government had plunged Zambia into serious poverty and hunger and it was imperative for Zambians to be serious by voting for leaders who had the ability to take the country to greater heights.
The UPND leader said during a campaign rally at Masamba Basic School grounds in Kalulushi that majority of Zambians were wallowing in poverty and hunger because the poor, irresponsible and selfish leadership of the PF government had failed to set the stage for economic recovery and national development.
Mr Hichilema was accompanied by UPND national chairperson Mutale Nalumango, former first lady Maureen Mwanawasa, Lunte MP Felix Mutati, MMD Lufwanyama MP Annie Chungu, deregistered Zambia National Marketeers Association (ZANAMA) president Elvis Nkandu and former PF Kalulushi MP Anson Simama and other UPND officials.
At the same rally, Mr Hichilema was endorsed by one old woman of Kalulushi identified as Lucy Lupiya who was believed to be in her late 70s.
Mr Hichilema urged the people of Kalulushi to reject the PF government in the January 20 presidential election and instead replace it with UPND which had a sound, sober and wise leadership with a vision to retrieve Zambia from economic hardships.
He said once elected into office, the UPND leadership would strive to improve people’s lives by reducing the price of mealie meal, create jobs for the youths, reduce the price of fertilizer so that farmers could produce more maize and in turn, reduce the price of mealie-meal. He said apart from reducing the price of mealie-meal, the UPND government would also ensure that health and education services were improved and were affordable to every Zambian.
“As UPND, we are interested in improving people’s lives in various sectors and, on January 20, reject the PF government which has thrown you in serious hunger and poverty and instead vote for UPND because it is a party which has a leadership with a vision to take Zambia forward.
I am advising you to be serious about electing a republican President because running a country is not a joke.
If you continue to vote for mediocre leadership, you will continue to wallow in poverty and hunger. You will continue to fail to buy mealie-mealie, you will continue to fail to take your children to school,” Mr Hichilema said.