PATRIOTIC Front (PF) presidential candidate Edgar Lungu says his priority if elected will be to deal with the high poverty levels in the country.
Mr Lungu said he will not be forced to sign the social contract but he is committed to giving Zambians a new Constitution if elected president in next Tuesday’s election.
Addressing a rally at Solwezi’s Kyawama Secondary School grounds yesterday, Mr Lungu said his first task will be to reduce poverty levels among Zambians because the PF was founded on the principle of uplifting the living standards of the poor in society.
Mr Lungu also said he will prioritise economic empowerment for women and job creation for the youth.
“In the midst of high poverty levels, lack of transport and communication as well as lack of quality education for our people, I cannot prioritise the Constitution and because of this, I will not sign the so-called social contract but this does not mean that I will not deliver the Constitution,” he said.
Mr Lungu said enacting a new Constitution will be one of the many issues he will look at.
He also said he will work on the Solwezi-Chingola road to enhance economic activities in North-Western Province.
Mr Lungu pledged to reduce the price of mealie meal by setting up milling plants in places where maize is produced.
He further promised to improve the conditions of service for miners.
“We are also going to engage the mines in the provision of education facilities to our people because even if you are a farmer, you must have some level of education so that you know how to manage your farming business,” Mr Lungu said.
At the same rally, former President Rupiah Banda pleaded with the people of North-Western Province to give Mr Lungu a 100 percent vote in next week’s presidential election.
Mr Banda said Mr Lungu is ready to be president as he has served in various portfolios under late President Sata which has given him enough experience to govern the country.
“My brothers and sisters, I stand here before you to tell you that Edgar Lungu is prepared to be the leader of this country because he has showed humility to work for the people in all the positions he was appointed to serve,” he said.
Mr Banda urged all MMD supporters not to vote for party president Nevers Mumba but turn out in large numbers on Tuesday to vote for Mr Lungu.
“Don’t vote for the MMD. You must vote on the PF and Edgar Lungu,” he told the cheering crowd.
And Minister of Tourism and Arts Jean Kapata said PF is an all-inclusive party that deserves to be in Government.
Meanwhile, UPND and PF members clashed at Kyawama Market, forcing police to fire teargas canisters to disperse the unruly cadres.
The incident happened between 10:00 hours and 11:00 hours shortly before Mr Lungu’s arrival as a truck with PF supporters was allegedly stoned by suspected UPND cadres.
Police quickly moved in to stop the fracas and detained eight people.
“We have eight people in our custody that we have arrested for conduct likely to cause the breach of peace at Kyawama market and they will appear in court soon as the case is being processed,” Mr Sibote said.
North-Western Province commissioner of police Eugene Sibote said yesterday that the eight will appear in court soon.