In yesterday’s by-elections in the Serenje, Lupososhi, and Chililabombwe districts, the ruling United Party for National Development (UPND) won all three seats.
The triumph, according to The Patriotic Front (PF) and Socialist Party, was a result of state-sponsored manipulation that was tainted by intimidation, violence, and vote buying.
Thomas Phiri of the UPND won the Serenje district of the Muchinda ward with 1,291 votes, followed by Roswell Kunda of the Socialist Party with 817 votes and Mike Chikubula of the Patriotic Front (PF) with 241 votes.
Ernest Kasakula of the UPND received 1,081 votes in the Lupososhi district of the Katilye ward, followed by Hendrix Lengwe of the Socialist Party with 320 votes and Isaac Mwanza of the PF with 132.
The Chitimukulu ward of Chililabombwe saw Solomon Banda of the UPND win 501 votes, Donald Mwape of the PF win 251, and Ruth Luapula of the SP win 73.
Cornelius Mweetwa, a minister in the Southern Province and a spokesman for the UPND, said the victory is evidence that the public values the steps the government is doing to improve the nation.
He added that it showed the UPND is making strides in areas where the PF once controlled.
“The victory us an outcome that as UPND we must not just receive with both hands, but we must be mindful that we need to work harder and deliver towards the people’s expectations. We will not deceive ourselves by the election outcome,because people have now given us the opportunity to work for them. The election outcome is a litmus test on delivery,” he said.
However, the PF and SP both characterized the election’s conclusion as unjust.
According to Antonio Mwanza of the PF, the election results were predictable because of the widespread use of violence, corruption, intimidation, and vote-buying.
“The election outcomes we not a true refection of the people’s will. The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) must do it’s work and ensure that the elections are scrutinized because there was alot of intimidation, vote buying and violence,” he said.
And SP’s Father Frank Bwalya said the elections were not free and fair and so the outcome is questionable.
“As a party we will not lose confidence and hope in the sense that our party is making head ways in growing. The elections have not been free and fair because it was a State sponsored manipulation to influence the outcome, ” he said.