7 July 2012

Zambia: PF, MMD, UPND Share By-Election Seat

THREE major political parties have shared Parliamentary seats in Thursday's by-elections held in Muchinga, Livingstone and Chama North constituencies.

The Patriotic Front (PF) scooped Chama North Constituency in Muchinga Province while the United Party for National Development (UPND) won the Livingstone Central seat in Southern Province.

The Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) retained the Muchinga seat in Central Province.

In Muchinga Constituency, David Chibwe of ZANIS reports that MMD's Howard Kunda polled 3,419 votes to beat PF's Jeliaty Ntembwa, who got 3,023 votes and National Restoration Party (NAREP) candidate Kenneth Ngosa, who only managed 168 votes.

Following the results, the PF now has 64 seats in the National Assembly, while MMD has 54 and UPND stands at 30.

There were celebrations at Malcolm Moffat College Hall among MMD cadres after returning officer Nelton Sakala announced the results indicating that their candidate had won.

Speaking to journalists shortly after the results were announced, MMD leader Nevers Mumba thanked the party members for the support they had rendered during campaigns.

He said the results were a victory in Zambia's history because democracy would prevail unlike a situation where one party had majority Members of Parliament (MPs).

And Mr Kunda said he would work like his late father, George Kunda, to deliver to the expectations of the people.

In Livingstone, Brian Hatyoka reports that UPND candidate Howard Sikwela polled 11, 979 votes while his closest rival, Josephs Akafumba of PF got 8, 318 votes.

Independent candidates Stephen Zulu obtained 119 votes while Joseph Mwanza got 95, with Soko Zondhwayo standing at 39 votes.

A total number of 20, 858 ballot papers were cast and 308 ballots were rejected out of 67, 732 registered voters in Livingstone Central Constituency.

Returning officer Elester Hazinji declared Reverend Sikwela duly elected MP for Livingstone Central Constituency around 02:35 hours yesterday.

By Press time yesterday, Mr Akafumba could not comment on the election results, saying he was in a meeting.

Andrew Lungu reports that in Chama North, PF's January Zimba polled 6,650 votes to beat MMD's Yotam Mtayachalo, who had 2,560 votes.

UNIP's Hebert Zimba followed behind with only 283 votes.

Returning officer Jonathan Phiri, who announced the results outside Chama Civic Centre around 11:00 hours, said a total of 9,730 votes were cast and 237 of these were rejected.

There was jubilation among PF cadres gathered outside the civic centre when the results were announced and Mr Zimba declared winner.

The PF cadres carried a mock coffin wrapped in MMD chitenge material to signify the loss by the former ruling party.

They marched and chanted solidarity songs to mark entry of the PF in Chama North Constituency.

PF campaign manager Edgar Lungu said the Chama North Parliamentary seat was one of the easiest battles.

Mr Lungu said the ruling PF Government had embarked on a number of developmental programmes for the people of Chama and thanked them for showing confidence in the ruling party's candidate.

And UNIP national chairperson for elections, Chigaga Banda said the party had conceded defeat and hoped that the former ruling party would perform better in future elections.

MMD national chairperson Gabriel Namulambe declined to comment on the matter while the party's losing candidate, Mr Mtayachalo was not picking up his mobile phone.

Speaking shortly after being declared winner, the new MP said he was happy that he had managed to grab the seat from the MMD

Meanwhile, the opposition MMD has said it will petition the election results of the Chama North Parliamentary by-elections citing alleged electoral malpractices.

MMD president Nevers Mumba said the party intended to seek legal redress based on the evidence that would be presented by its election committee team.

Speaking at a media briefing in Lusaka yesterday upon arrival from Serenje with the newly-elected Muchinga MP, Dr Mumba claimed that the PF had manipulated the votes not only in Chama North but also in Muchinga and Livingstone Central.

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