United Party for National Development (UPND) President Hakainde Hichilema has said that those criticizing him for not attending the prayer and fasting at the showgrounds are entitled to their opinion.
Mr. Hichilema said that people can criticize him and voice out their opinions on his absence from the showgrounds, but stated that it was not mandatory for everyone to be present.
Mr Hichilema said that much as he believed God is there to help the nation, if there is no leadership, the nation collapses, before adding that the bible is clear that where there is no leadership people perish.
Meanwhile, Mr Hichilema has said that the party was growing at a fast rate and all well-meaning Zambians must join hands in economically liberating the country.
Speaking when he received more than 200 people mainly from the ruling PF structures in Lusaka and others from FDD and Rainbow Party, Mr. Hichilema said that the recent and today’s defections from various political parties to the UPND are a clear indication that Zambians want economic freedom and liberation from poverty.
Mr Hichilema said that his party remained open to all Zambians and called on the party leadership throughout the country to embrace new members and not turn them away.
Mr. Hichilema called on all members across the country to encourage others to join the winning team and urged all those joining to feel part and parcel of the party and immediately start mobilising others as well.
And UPND Vice President Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, popularly known as GBM said that the PF was a sinking titanic which was irretrievable.
GBM said the current high cost of living under the PF leadership such as food price increases were affecting a lot of people, hence the need for Zambians to join a dedicated and focused UPND team that had a vision for the country.
And speaking on behalf of the defectors Mr. Jackson Ndawe said time has come for Zambia to be economically liberated.
He said executive members from various structures of their parties in Lusaka joined the UPND because of the able leadership in the party and numerous challenges within their parties especially the PF, hence the need to join the winning team.