PRESIDENT Michael Sata has thanked the people of Mufumbwe saying the Patriotic Front's (PF) victory in the parliamentary by-election is a victory for the people of Zambia.
Mr Sata thanked the people of Mufumbwe for resoundingly voting for PF candidate, Steven Masumba, in an election in which the opposition MMD and UPND fielded a joint candidate.
He also expressed gratitude to the Zambian people for their show of confidence in his administration following the nation-wide local government by-elections in which the ruling party won 12 out of the 14 seats that were being contested for.
The President said the trouncing of MMD and UPND in Mufumbwe was for the people of Zambia, and that this reinforced the PF Government's commitment to distribute development to all parts of Zambia.
"The people of Mufumbwe have made a clear choice against politics of hate, ill-will and tribalism and have resolutely decided to vote for development and unity. They have also freely shown that they are willing to side with a progressive movement that is committed to delivering inclusive growth.
"No doubt, our dear brothers and sisters of Mufumbwe have with certainty rejected opportunism and meaningless political rhetoric in preference for national development and unity. This is how it should be and the Zambian people must be guaranteed that a new era of proper democracy, where people's wishes are respected, has dawned," Mr Sata said.
Mr Sata assured the people of Mufumbwe that the PF Government would set out to work hard to ensure development and equitable supply of resources in the area.
He thanked Zambians for the strong show of support to the PF in the various local government by-elections held country-wide saying scooping 12 out of the 14 seats was a clear indication that the PF had continued gaining popularity as the only party with a national character and appeal.
"Indeed, the PF has gained incredible ground in North-Western, Western, Eastern and Central provinces. The recent victories in Chavuma, Luena, Petauke, Muchinga, Rufunsa, Chibombo and many others are a clear testimony of this rapid progression," he said.
He praised the PF supporters who participated in the by-elections countrywide for exhibiting impressive levels of restraint, humility and maturity.
"As Head of State and PF President, I am proud that our supporters behaved well even under extreme provocation from the opposition. I must admit that it's quite unfortunate to see the once vibrant and disciplined MMD transform into a violent gang under the leadership of a man of the collar, Pastor Nevers Mumba.
"This is a serious indictment on Pastor Mumba's leadership and it calls for serious introspection. We cannot have a political party, which is headed by a man of God to be found wanting in murderous and violent acts like what happened in Rufunsa and Mufumbwe.
"My advice to the MMD and UPND alliance is that we should all commit to good politics if indeed it's the people of Zambia we intend to serve," Mr Sata said.
He said Government remained committed to engaging progressive forces within the opposition in its quest to implement pro-poor measures that would culminate into speedy economic expansion, job creation and poverty reduction.
And PF Secretary General Wynter Kabimba and Chairperson for elections Sylvia Masebo said the party's scooping of the Mufumbwe seat was a clear indication that Zambians were appreciating Mr Sata's wise leadership.
Speaking in separate interviews, Mr Kabimba who is Justice Minister said the Mufumbwe victory should teach a lesson to the MMD/UPND pact, that the two could not beat the PF.
"I would like to commend the PF leadership and everybody that supported the by-election including those that supported us by nature, the well-wishers. Credit goes to them," he said.
He said the victory had proved that the PF was growing and this was how people mobilised themselves because pacts in most cases failed as people deceived each other especially during elections.
Ms Masebo said PF campaigns in Mufumbwe were based on concerted developmental issues. She thanked the residents for giving maximum confidence to President Sata's remarkable leadership.
"The Government working with PF, MP Mr Masumba and the people of Mufumbwe will ensure their expectations on development are delivered in line with the party manifesto," she said.
She called on Zambians to condemn violence citing the case of a PF cadre who died while two others were injured during political rivalry in a local government by-election in Rufunsa on Thursday.
She appealed to police to ensure the culprits were brought to book saying people should not take the law into their own hands.