THE Patriotic Front (PF) will win the 2016 elections, Defence Minister, Geoffrey Mwamba has declared.
The Defence Minister made the declaration in a media statement in which he also sternly warned opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) leader, Hakainde Hichilema not to engage in campaign tactics that endanger the country's national security and sovereignty.
Mr Mwamba said the PF would win the elctions so that it could continue on the path of delivering development to the nation.
"Come 2016, PF shall win and after winning, we shall do more work on our developmental agenda to ensure a better life for all Zambians," Mr Mwamba said.
He further advised Mr Hichilema not to underestimate the PF Government, saying the current administration crafted its art over a 10-year period.
"We only hope that the UPND leader has calculated his political game quite well because this is a classic case of under-estimating a fiery blaze.
"Mr Hichilema of all people must know that he is dealing with a party and Government who passed through the mill over a ten year long period. We are not a fluke Government; we know why we are here and fully know how we got to be where we are today," Mr Mwamba said.
He said the PF mobilised the entire country for 10 years under difficult conditions and that facing the UPND politically would be "as smooth as a walk in the park."
Mr Hichilema last week declared that his party would mobilise to fight the PF Government and President Michael Sata in particular for what he described as an intolerant stance to divergent views that the current administration had taken.
"Our advice to him is, let him mobilise but he should not dare attempt to mobilise people at the expense of national security and sovereignty because laws of the land have prescribed a befitting punishment for such heinous acts.
"For ten (10) years President Sata mobilised people in a peaceful and non-violent manner and we expect Mr Hichilema to do the same although his motivation is different - he is motivated by bitterness and tribalism."
The Minister said the Government was not intolerant to divergent views but remained open to criticism and other constructive engagements.
"What we shall not allow is for this country's peace to be tampered with through schemes perpetuated by an opposition leader who only polled slightly over 18 per cent of the total votes at the last elections," he said.
He said President Sata mobilised people in a peaceful and non-violent manner and Mr Hichilema should take a leaf from such political conduct instead of engaging in schemes that threatened peace and national security.
"We shall not permit a man who has maintained his usual distant third position at all successive elections to prey on our people's minds," Mr Mwamba said.
He said the UPND leader, whom he described as a "chief apostle of bitterness and tribalism", had realised that he had no chance of winning the presidential race.
Mr Mwamba said Zambians knew who Mr Hichilema was and what he stood for and which interests he represented.
He alleged that Zambians knew the UPND's "capitalistic greed" and how he allegedly "ripped-off" the country during the privatisation exercise in order to amass personal wealth and condemned millions of families into destitution, especially on the Copperbelt.
Mr Mwamba alleged that even Mr Hichilema's subsequent rise to the UPND leadership was on an "evil tribal horse" and some of his victims were prominent Lusaka lawyer, Sakwiba Sikota.
"Clearly, this is a man who only identifies himself with causes that have direct benefits to himself and his family. Honestly, it is very difficult to reconcile Mr Hichilema's capitalistic gluttony with his claim of service to the Zambian people.
"Haven't you wondered why he has never spoken about pro-poor policies like the minimum wage and many others? The man always aims at benefiting at the expense of the ordinary Zambians," he said.