Opposition UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema says the party has continued moving forward.
In his speech during the 20th anniversary dinner held at Intercontinental Hotel Lusaka, Mr Hichilema thanked the UPND supporters for the support.
He said he is grateful for the continued support to the UPND since its establishment.
Mr Hichilema said since its establishment 20 years ago, the UPND has withstood various storms among them possible extinction.
The UPND leader has also thanked the Church in Zambia for their continued support for a better Zambia.
The dinner was attended by Former Lusaka Diocese Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu, opposition leaders Mike Mulongoti, Elias Chipimo, Sean Tembo and Fresher Siwale.
“To his Grace, Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu, we say thank you for your counsel on various issues you gave us during our party’s 20th anniversary fundraising dinner yesterday. To the UPND members, supporters and sympathisers we say thank you for your continued support,” Mr Hichilema said.
“Since its establishment 20 years ago, UPND has withstood various storms among them possible extinction. However, due to the nation’s faith in us, the party continues to thrive and this we owe to you, our people and the nation at large. We have gone from a party getting 29 votes in Kaputa of Northern province to now getting over 30, 000 votes and having 4 councillors in the same constituency is not a mean achievement,” he said.
“From getting about 20% of total presidential votes to now 48% at the same level even amidst fraud and electoral malfeasance. This goes to show that our party, your party UPND is going forward and this is due to your hard work. The vision and mission of this party is to never look backward but always move forward in unity and development.”
He said over the years, the party has continued to grow from strength to strength and together with the nation fighting divisive elements.
“This is why we insist there is more that unites than what divides us as people of this great nation. Like we said when we were elected for the first time to the presidency of this party, we do not seek public office to plunder government resources but to offer service to the nation and this is why we say Zambia and Zambians first.”
He added, “This was the desire of our party’s founding father, late Anderson Kambela Mazoka, whom we always thank for creating this platform for the people of Zambia as a unitary base for national development.”
“Thank you Andy, how happy you must be to see this party grow from strength to strength and unite the people while placing development for all as a priority.”
He said,”Ladies and gentlemen, we wish to remind you that we have a great country that we must protect from any divisive elements. This is the only place we all call home, we have no other place to call home as Zambians. Therefore, let’s work together, unite under the umbrella of the UPND and move our country forward.”
“And thank you for your continued support for this party which does not belong to us but belongs to the nation as a unifying platform for national development. To our late party founding President Anderson Kambela Mazoka and other leaders now passed away, we say may you continue to rest in peace and ours is to take over the baton and continue where you left.”