UPND President Hakainde Hichilema was on Friday conferred with the Africa Freedom Award in Johannesburg, South Africa, by the Germany led Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.
Mr. Hichilema said he has dedicated the award to every African and Zambian who has joined in the struggle for freedom and democracy.
“It is a great honour to be invited to speak and later on be awarded here, we are firm believers of democracy and freedom of all citizens, therefore, we would like to dedicate this award to every African and Zambian who under very difficult times has joined the struggle for freedom and democracy, we salute the freedom fighters in Zambia, Africa and the world at large”, said Mr. Hichilema.
The UPND President also did participate in a discussion titled “The State of Freedom in Africa” at which he presented paper work with solutions to how Africa and including Zambia can attain its freedoms and democracy wholly.
“Together, as one, we can do great things, great things that can benefit our people on the African continent, we must unite as Africa, unite for our people against those that are working to stop freedoms and democracy”, added Mr Hichilema.
Mr. Hichilema also said that he remains grateful to the people of Zambia especially on their unconditional support they have continued to show to him even when the country is undergoing difficult times.
“We are grateful to the people of our country, Zambia, they have been with us through difficult times, the church, civil society organizations have been of great help and our country values democracy and freedom of all citizens, we love our country and we will work to make it a better home for all”, said Mr. Hichilema during the round table discussion.
“Freedom is not only being able to move freely, assemble freely, associate freely, demand freely by the way in some countries even what we have called “freedom” is not there because freedom is not freedom when our people are still going hungry and cannot afford better meals except a few, freedom to us means being politically free and economically strong”, said Mr Hichilema.
The Germany led Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF)-Annual Africa Freedom Speech and Award Ceremony is an annual event which acknowledges individuals who have made an extraordinary contribution to the cause of Freedom in Africa.
During this year’s speech and award ceremony, Mr. Hichilema was joined by Mr Ismail Jussa Ladhu who is the Director of Foreign Affairs and International Relations of the Civic United Front (CUF) and Mr. Mmusi Maimane, Federal Leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) as co-special guests.
The UPND President was accompanied by his Vice, Mr Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba and UPND South Africa chapter members.