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Lungu cautions against violence

CHIMWEMWE MWALE, SYLVESTER CHISHIMBA, Lumwana, Lusaka
PRESIDENT Lungu has cautioned members of all political parties, including the ruling Patriotic Front (PF), in Solwezi West constituency against violence during campaigns for the September 24 by-election. Mr Lungu reiterated that he is concerned about violence between members of political parties during campaigns.
The President said this when he addressed hundreds of people at Manyama Basic School grounds in Solwezi’s Lumwana area on Friday.
“There is no reason to shed blood for me or any other political party leader or members of Parliament. The MPs you see are friends and they interact a lot, so why should you fight?” President Lungu asked.
And President Lungu urged PF Solwezi West parliamentary candidate Martin Mbaya to consistently facilitate development in the area when elected MP.
Mr Lungu said there is need for Mr Mbaya to work closely with the people who are the electorates and other stakeholders in the constituency.
“We are all entitled to a decent life, including clean water, so ensure that you campaign for clean drinking water among others once you are elected because if you don’t, Government will not know about it.
“Don’t forget the people who will give you the vote and don’t forget to come to me and ask for my help. If you work with the people and myself, you will not fail. Politics is easy if you work with the people and what people want is development,” he said.
President Lungu also thanked the North- Western provincial party leadership for remaining united after adopting Mr Mbaya.
“We in the PF have picked Mbaya because he is the best candidate and not that his friends are not good but there is only one seat at a time,” he said.
Other contenders in the Solwezi West by-election are United Party for National Development’s Teddy Kansonso and John Njombi of UNIP.
And President Lungu said he would soon return to the area to commission the newly constructed Lumwana hospital when it is fully equipped.
Meanwhile, President Lungu has explained that the creation of Kalumbila and Mashindano districts in Solwezi West and East, respectively, is aimed at accelerating development in the area.
Mr Lungu said this is evidenced by the rapid development being witnessed in new districts created by late President Michael Sata.
And PF deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri has urged the people of Solwezi not to be misled by some opposition political party leaders that the PF is borrowing for consumption.
Mrs Phiri said the PF administration is borrowing because it intends to revamp some run-down industries and companies such as Zambia Railways among others which were privatised by the previous administrations.
She urged the electorates to vote for PF’s youthful candidate saying President Lungu’s administration respects and considers women and youths as key drivers of development.
And campaign manager for the Solwezi West parliamentary by-election Richard Kapita said the PF is confident of scooping the seat because it has gained firm political ground in Solwezi and the province as a whole unlike in the past.
Meanwhile, political parties have welcomed President Lungu’s call for peaceful and issued-based campaigns in the forth-coming by-elections.
Speaking in separate interviews, Patriotic Front (PF) secretary general Davies Chama said PF has always stood for peaceful campaigns.
“The call by President Lungu for peaceful and issue-based campaigns is a sign of how much he wants the 51 years of peace the country has enjoyed to be maintained. My appeal to PF members is to restrain themselves when provoked and report to the police when under extreme provocation,” Mr Chama said.
He also appealed to opposition political parties participating in the by-elections to handle campaigns in a peaceful manner.
And UPND deputy spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa said the party welcomes calls for peaceful campaigns.
“I am happy that in Lubansenshi, members from both PF and UPND are campaigning and interfacing in a peaceful manner and that is as it should be,” he said.

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