NANCY SIAME, Lusaka
PATRIOTIC Front deputy secretary-general Mumbi Phiri says the party has information that former Kasama Central member of Parliament (MP) Geoffrey Mwamba will not contest the Kasama Central by-election because he is allegedly scared of losing.
But the United Party for National Development (UPND) has dismissed the assertion, saying the adoption process has not even started.
Mrs Phiri said the UPND vice-president is aware that he has lost popularity in Kasama and that he would embarrass himself if he recontests the seat because he would lose by a large margin.
She said this at Southern Sun in Lusaka yesterday at the launch of ticket sales for the â€˜Meet the President dinner danceâ€™, which has been slated for August 19.
â€œWe have information that Mr Mwamba will not contest the Kasama by-election because he knows that he will be greatly embarrassed,â€ Mrs Phiri said.
She also said the party has received numerous applications from PF members who want to contest the Kasama Central seat, which was declared vacant by Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini last week.
When contacted, UPND deputy spokesperson Cornelius Mwelwa could not state whether Mr Mwamba would stand, saying the party has not started the adoption process yet.
Party spokesperson Charles Kakoma said Mr Mwamba has not given him any indications to suggest that he would not contest the Kasama by-election.
Mr Kakoma added that Mr Mwamba had been giving strong indications that he would contest the Kasama seat.
â€œI do not know where Mrs Phiri is getting this information. Those are just rumours and she should not be basing her statements on rumours,â€ he said.
He said the UPND is confident of winning the Kasama seat and visits have already been conducted in some wards where the response is overwhelming. And Mrs Phiri said the dinner dance tickets have been pegged at K2,000 for VVIP, K1,500 VIP and K1,000 for ordinary tickets.
She said the money will be used for party mobilisation and preparing for next yearâ€™s general elections.
â€œThis dinner dance is open to all Zambians who want to come and meet the President. He is not just the President for the PF, but the entire country,â€ Ms Mumbi said.
She said the PF would not take the people of Zambia for granted but would work hard to ensure that it remains the party of choice.
She said the party remains committed and united and would admit errors with a view to correcting them before they become mistakes.
NANCY SIAME, Lusaka