UNPD leader Hakainde Hichilema cannot win the 2016 elections because Zambians respond to love and unity not bitterness and contempt laced with tribalism, says Patriotic Front (PF) Media and Publicity Committee vice chairperson Sunday Chanda.
It was not clear how Mr Hichilema travelled to London to speak on behalf of Zambia.
Mr Chanda said PF was concerned that Mr Hichilema had continued to show contempt to the Government and President Edgar Lungu to the ‘‘extent where he is willing to paint the whole Zambia black’’ in order to get popular at a recent international gathering in London.
‘‘Our concern emanates from the most recent attacks on the Government yet again by HH who spoke at the Global African Investment Summit with open contempt, not only of the elected leadership of President Lungu but of the very Zambians he seeks to lead,” he said.
Mr Chanda said it was his considered view that if Mr Hichilema was privileged enough to be given a speaking slot at such a ‘‘sold out event’’ or gathering where there were heads of state and CEOs that represent Fortune 100 companies, every word must count and it must count towards garnering investment for Zambia and not doom saying.
“During his rare speaking opportunity, however, HH went on the onslaught and contemptuously, without backing anything, told potential investors that Zambia was not good for business because of alleged red tape, concentration on mining and paying lip service to tourism,” he said.
Mr Chanda said if Mr Hichilema was sitting an examination ‘‘he would have terribly failed to cut the grade the same way he had failed to cut the grade lamentably amongst Zambian voters’’.
‘‘This is because he went beyond the terms of reference of selling Zambia’s investment potential to giving a disjointed bitter account of everything he perceives as wrong with Zambia. Purely out of bitterness,” he said.
Mr Chanda said there was nothing wrong with pointing out short-comings of a country or an individual leader in a democracy, but what was wrong however was the level of contempt that Mr Hichilema was willing to stoop to in order to make his bitter points as he stepped up efforts to win hearts and souls of Zambian voters.
“If we were privileged enough to be among his close advisors, we would tell him four words, ‘easy with hate rhetoric,’ instead like President Lungu, ‘turn to love and reconciliation.’ You will not build Zambia by selling it cheaply, you will not build Zambia by saying it’s a no-go area for investment,” Mr Chanda said.
And foreign affairs minister Harry Kalaba said he would try to get to the bottom of the matter when he returned to Zambia from abroad