A WOODLANDS A School Grade 12 pupil yesterday excited UPND president Hichilema during the party’s tour of Chilenje, Libala and Kabwata markets when she seized the opportunity to ask his vision for the country.
Thabo Mukando asked Hichilema, who was accompanied on the ‘Meet the in-coming Mayor’ road show by his vice-president Geoffrey Mwamba Bwalya, the Lusaka mayoral candidate Chileshe Kangwa, among others, what his agenda for “us who are in school regarding our employment opportunities” was.
Hichilema listened attentively as Thabo explained how the manufacturing industry in the country should be his priority, knowing that it was the bedrock for employment. In response, Hichilema agreed with the schoolgirl and explained that he would revive the manufacturing sector and empower those in informal sector.
The road show started from Chilenje market where business came to a stand still as Hichilema chatted with marketeers and passersby, urging them to vote for Kangwa in the July 26 mayoral polls. After his tour and interaction with traders in Chilenje market, the UPND leader decided to use a flash public bus to Libala where another spectacle awaited him. On his way to Libala, motorists and pedestrians were dismayed to see Hichilema on a public bus.
He kept flashing the party symbol and blowing kisses to pedestrians, who excitedly waved back. Later around 15:30 hours, the journey on both foot and bus swung into Kabwata but it was behind Clans bar where his team and some members of the rival PF met and danced while flashing their respective symbols. Many would have thought their meeting would be bloody but the opposite happened when the two rival parties danced together.
Hichilema walked past the PF, heading to Kabwata Market amidst singing and dances from cadres. While in Kabwata market, Hichilema greeted everyone, including staunch PF market leaders. It was at Kabwata market where people started demanding to take pictures with the ‘handsome’ Chileshe. As he was being introduced to marketeers, others said ‘Ni Mayor na Lesa’; referring to his position as a Pastor. They said they would vote for a man of God who would be accountable and not steal from the people.
“Ni Mayor na Lesa to avoid stealing. We are tired of thieves who want to come into office because they are broke. ‘Handsome Mayor’, ‘handsome Mayor’,” shouted some women.