By DELPHINE ZULU-
OPPOSITION United Party for National Development (UPND) has launched its 2015 presidential campaigns.
The UPND has also unveiled party president, Hakainde Hichilema, as the candidate for the presidential election scheduled for January 20, 2015.
Mr Hichilema has since promised an inclusive government with each province being represented in Cabinet and that the civil service would be improved to have professionals and not politicians in order to accord opportunities to qualified Zambians.
He was speaking yesterday at a Press briefing at Golden Bridge Hotel in Lusaka where he also outlined the party policies, among them, to deliver a people-driven Constitution before 2016.
Mr Hichilema further pledged to improve the education sector through the provision of best education skills that would help improve young people’s chances of securing jobs, and owning businesses.
“A good education starts with good teachers, but this noble profession has been neglected by Government for too long. If elected, I will improve education by enacting policies that support teachers,” Mr Hichilema said.
“Teachers deserve access to soft loans, where they can also be entrepreneurs and have access to their retirement benefits while they are still working, as long as they have served a specific number of years.”
Mr Hichilema also promised to improve accommodation at higher institutions of learning, as well as student’s meal allowances and lecturers’ remuneration and accommodation.
He said education was key to making sure that women had the same opportunities as men and that his party would demand that access to education for girls and women be equal with that of boys and men.
The UPND leader said he would use his economic background and push the country’s economy to 10 per cent growth, which would in turn help to improve and provide free and cheap quality healthcare to all Zambians.
His government would respect the traditional leaders and would recognise Henry Sosala as Paramount Chief Chitimukulu of the Bemba people because his party believed that the process of choosing a chief should not be interfered with.
He would not risk the future of Zambia by building up too much debt and burdening the treasury through reckless borrowing but would increase domestic resource mobilisation through appropriate mine taxation policies, and ensure that contracts are awarded fairly and transparently.
Mr Hichilema said he would immediately re-introduce the fuel subsidies to reduce the cost of living for all Zambians and help businesses grow and create jobs.
Former first lady Maureen Mwanawasa, former secretary to Cabinet Sketchley Sachika, former resident Rupiah Banda’s son, Andrew and political advisor Vernon Mwaanga all endorsed Mr Hichilema for the January 20, 2015 election.
Others were former prime minister in the UNIP government Malimba Masheke, former Chawama MP Geoffrey Samukonga, Lusaka prominent lawyer Christopher Mundia and former MMD Chimbamilonga MP Brian Sikazwe.