–President Micheal Sata says it is entirely up to the people of Livingstone to vote for a party that will bring the needed development in the area.
And President Sata has advised Patriotic Front Candidate, Evans Lawrence, to respect the people and represent them well in parliament once voted as area Member of Parliament.
Addressing a huge rally today at Villa grounds in Livingstone, President Sata said he was not going to promise people anything, adding that it was their choice to vote for a party that will bring development.
He noted that Southern Province could have developed more than it was now but because of the opposition MPs the area was facing challenges in terms of development.
Mr Sata said former United Party for National Development (UPND) MP, Rev Howard Sikwela, resigned because he had difficulties to work with government while in the opposition.
The Head of State advised people in Livingstone to be wary of the opposition, saying they will promise development which they cannot deliver.
“The opposition parties will come and tell you that they will bring development, but what kind of development did Mr Sikwela bring as an opposition MP? It is like a man without a wife cheating people that he has children but fails to produce one,” said Mr Sata.
“And this is why we have problems to bring even things like a university in an area where we have an opposition MP because that MP will brag that he has brought development,” he added.
Mr Sata urged Livingstone residents to vote for Mr Lawrence, saying the candidate was brought up in Livingstone and was well vested in problems besetting Livingstone residents.
“I want to appeal to you to give us Mr Lawrence and we will show you
that we will deliver development here,” said Mr Sata.
“They (opposition) will tell you that we have not fulfilled our promise but we have created 50,000 jobs, we have created Zimba, Pemba; we are constructing roads, and we will bring more development here if you give us an MP,” Mr Sata assured the residents.
And President Sata told Mr Lawrence to respect the people and speak for the people in parliament once voted into power.
He said people of Livingstone needed proper representation in parliament in order to address some of the problems they were faced with.
“You need to respect and represent these people well in parliament by articulating issues that affect them so that they can be addressed,” Mr Sata said.
“If you do not respect the people after they vote for you risk serving for one term only and so when you go to parliament represent everyone including the business community,” he added.
And President Sata said he was not ready to address issues such as visa that have been raised by the tourism sector and instead directed the Minister of Tourism and Arts, Sylvia Masebo, to table the issue before parliament for debate.
Chief Mukuni, who attended the rally, said he endorsed the candidature of Mr Lawrence after he was approached by the PF and maintained that he was not a politician but a father of all political parties.
PF campaign manager, Obvious Mwaliteta, said the party had a tough time but that the campaigns were now in top gear, adding that victory for the party was assured.
And Defence Minister, Geoffrey Mwamba, said President Sata wanted to work with people of Southern Province to bring development.
He said time for regional politics was long gone and begged the people of the province to work with the government of the day if meaningful development was to be achieved in the region.
Speaking, earlier representative of Livingstone Chamber of Commerce, Ruth Henson, appealed to the government to consider scrapping off visa requirement for the United Kingdom and the United State of America and to further reduce the fee from the current US$50 to US$25 in order to increase the number of tourists visiting the country.
Ms Henson also called on the government through the Ministry of Health to pressurize the South African Government to scrap off the compulsory yellow fever vaccination requirement for visitors travelling into Zambia through South Africa as it had detrimental impact of tourism development in the country.
Ms Henson further urged the government to encourage more direct international flights into Livingstone to increase the number of tourist arrivals into the country also decentralize the payment of fees at border.