Hichilema, Presidential Frontrunner in Zambia Eyes August Victory

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Zambia’s presidential hopefuls for the August 11, general elections have kicked off campaigns after filing nominations.

The front-runner and United Party for National Development (UPND) President Hakainde Hichilema and running mate Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, commonly known as GBM, filed last.

There was massive jubilation in nation’s capital Lusaka when Hichilema named Bwalya as running mate, ending weeks of anxiety in Zambia and abroad. Thousands of UPND supporters gathered at Mulungushi International Conference Centre to witness Hichilema’s filing of nomination.

Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) Chairperson Justice Esau Chulu declared successful Hakainde”s nomination and also validated Bwalya’s credentials.

Justice Chulu wished the candidates well before the two UPND leaders addressed supporters outside the conference centre.

Also addressing UPND supporters and in a show of magnanimity, UNPD’s Vice-President Dr. Canisius Banda, congratulated Hichilema and Bwalya.

Hichilema promised a cabinet post when UPND forms government in August. He thanked Dr. Banda for being magnanimous.

Amomg those who addressed the UPND supporters were former Acting Republican President Dr. Guy Scott, Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) President Dr. Nevers Mumba, Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD) President Mr. Charles Milupi, United Democratic Front (UDF) leader Mr. Miles Sampa, former President Michael Sata’s son, Mulenga Sata; and former First Lady Dr. Maureen Mwanawasa.

ADD President Charles Milupi endorsed Hichilema and told his supporters to campaign for UPND.

The filing of Presidential nomination by Hichilema on June 3 was marred by violence by PF cadres. One UPND supporter was shot in the arm by a PF cadre while several UPND supporters were seriously injured in Lusaka.

The UPND supporters were on their way to the conference centre for the filing of nomination.

On June 2, PF cadres returning from the filing of nomination by Zambian President Edgar Lungu deviated from their route and descended on UPND headquarters and stoned cars and broke windows.

Zambia’s leading newspaper The Post in its editorial stated that it seems PF cadres can do as they please and police are not in a position to control them.

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