Columnists

Is Sampa miles ahead of competitors?

PAUL Moonga.

Analysis: PAUL MOONGA
FOLLOWING the successful filing of nominations for the July 26 Lusaka mayoral by-election, the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) has sharpened its tactical approach to entrench its domination of election victories, especially over the main opposition, the United Party for National Development (UPND).Some measure of focus will also fall on the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and its de facto leader Chishimba Kambwili, who has failed to make any worthy impact in recent by-elections.
The NDC’s gloom has continued even before election day with its candidate failing to file her nomination. The party has lost its foot and is staggering.
In the recent round of by-elections, the governing PF won all the nine ward and parliamentary seats in its strongholds and gained four out of seven wards in UPND strongholds.
The PF won in Kalilele, Mushindamo and Kanongo in North-Western Province. It also took the Lealui ward in Mongu in Western Province as well as Nampundwe and Shibuyunji in Central Province.
The ruling party went further to win Kakoma, Mafinga, Kalebe, Shiwang’andu, and Mikunku in Muchinga Province; Luapula in Luapula Province; and Kalulushi and Kansunswa in Mufulira on the Copperbelt.
Other victories were in Ntumbachushi, Kawambwa in Luapula Province and Munwa, Chiweza and Chiwuyu in the Eastern Province.
All this reflects the national character of the PF, unlike other parties that have failed to have any notable impact beyond one or two regions.
The PF is set to inflict further political anguish on the opposition, especially the UPND, in the July 26 polls.
Political groupings and individuals that hide in the name of civil society organisations should also brace themselves for defeat.
To secure this victory, the PF will not engage in any violence but convince the electorate through its track-record of all-inclusive development for all.
In the Lusaka mayoral by-election, for instance, the PF candidate, Miles Sampa, has credentials that speak for themselves, especially as underscored when he served as Member of Parliament for Matero.
This will be the easiest campaign ever, coming at a time when the party is growing in all directions; and at a time when President Edgar Lungu has launched the road upgrade system to decongest Lusaka city by creating fly-over bridges.
The election is coming at a time when Government has launched the plan to add to the reconstruction of tarred roads across the city and a luscious programme to fast-track the issuance of title deeds to the citizens.
Kenneth Kaunda International Airport is being upgraded to international standards while Copperbelt and Lusaka provinces are being linked by a dual-carriageway.
How about the Levy Mwanawasa Hospital, which is being upgraded to a second university teaching hospital?
As if that is not enough, mini-hospitals are being upgraded to first-level hospitals while teachers and health professionals are being employed to equip the medical facilities. I see no competitor on the political market.
There is another factor that favours the PF in these polls: its leader President Lungu. He is likable, friendly and accommodates all.
With all these advantages, the PF’s Sampa is evidently miles ahead of all the other eight candidates.
These are UPND’s Kangwa Chileshe, NDC’s Saboi Imboela, Republic Progressive Party’s Lesley Chikuse, Saviour Chishimba of United People’s Progressive Party, Mundia Mukubesa of People’s Alliance for Change and Madalitso Musukwa of United Prosperous and Peaceful Zambia.
The author is PF Member of Central Committee.

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