CHIMWEMWE MWALE, CHARLES CHISALA, Lusaka, Samfya
THE Patriotic Frontâ€™s (PF) seventh straight parliamentary by-election victory, coming through a landslide win in Bangweulu, has cheered President Lungu.
He has congratulated the PF members for the â€œresoundingâ€ victory and has also commended opposition political parties for winning some local government seats.
And the newly elected Bangweulu member of Parliament (MP), Anthony Kasandwe, has assured people in the constituency that he will immediately start working with President Lungu to address the development challenges they are facing.
President Lungu is happy with the hardwork and team spirit the PF exhibited and praised the people of Bangweulu for their confidence in the ruling party.
This is contained in a statement released by special assistant to the President for press and public relations Amos Chanda yesterday.
Mr Kasandwe won with a landslide 9,516 votes, beating Robby Mwansa of the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) into second place on 1,882 votes.
United Party for National Development (UPND) candidate Blanco Muma was third with 1,122 votes, while independent candidate Prudence Chinama got 653.
John Kabila of the Christian Democratic Party (CDP) managed to garner 432 votes, with National Restoration Party (NAREP) candidate Morgan Mwewa collecting 336.
This is the 7th parliamentary by-election win for the PF since President Lungu came into office in January this year.
Mr Lungu also congratulated opposition Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) leader Edith Nawakwi for â€œher robust campaignâ€ that resulted in her candidate emerging second.
â€œThe President has, however, appealed to Ms Nawakwi to desist from foul language and reckless incitement that led to unruly supporters seizing a vehicle belonging to the ECZ on suspicion that it was carrying pre-marked ballots,â€ he said.
President Lungu has also extended his congratulatory message to the opposition MMD for winning a local seat in Mambwe, the UPND for winning Kasama Centralâ€™s Bululu ward and Rainbow party for winning a ward in Isoka.
â€œZambia is a democracy where competition is premised on fair tactics, free electioneering and not blackmail through the avenue of violence,â€ he said
He called for co-existence among political parties noting that Zambia can only foster and achieve holistic development in a peaceful and tranquil environment.
He warned that all acts of violence will face the wrath of the law.
The President has since directed police to pursue all cases of violence and prosecute anyone linked to violence.
Meanwhile, Mr Lungu said it is regrettable that former Kasama Central MP Geoffrey Mwamba has allegedly resorted to violence to intimidate the electorate in his former constituency.
In local government by-elections, the PF has scooped the Chiba ward in Lukashya, while opposition UPND has won the Bululu ward in Kasama Central, HENRY SINYANGWE reports in Kasama.
Pilate Chilambe scooped the Chiba ward with 821 votes, against his closest rival, Emmanuel Chileshe, of the FDD, who got 398 votes in Thursdayâ€™s by- election.
UPNDâ€™s Cosmas Chomba polled 181 votes, while Abias Kabambala of the MMD polled 42 votes.
UPNDâ€™s Mutale Kabwe won Bululu ward with 772 votes, beating his closest rival, Jack Chola, of the PF, who got 587.Â MMDâ€™s Joseph Chunga polled 92 votes, while 15 votes were rejected, according to returning officer Davies Sikazwe.
Meanwhile, Mr Kasandwe has said his election victory was in no doubt.
â€œIt hasnâ€™t been a fight. As I said earlier, my rivals were not candidates, but mere participants. This is a PF seat. I am ready to work with President Lungu to address the development challenges of this constituency,â€ he said in an interview.
PF campaign manager Davies Mwila said Government would continue implementing development projects in Samfya district.
â€œThe PF won this election because of what we have done in this constituency, which the people are able to see. We will continue with the same development projects,â€ Mr Mwila said.
His assistant, Emerine Kabanshi, said Mr Kasandweâ€™s victory was evidence that the PF is growing stronger in Luapula Province.
â€œThis victory shows that the PF is enjoying support from the people. You can see that the figures are higher than the results of the January presidential election,â€ Ms Kabanshi said.
â€œThis is a sign that the PF is growing stronger, and we will go to other provinces to make the roots grow even deeper,â€ she said.
Luapula Province PF chairperson Nickson Chilangwa said the party is grateful to the people of Bangweulu for giving President Lungu a PF MP.
None of the other candidates was available for an interview.
The Bangweulu seat fell vacant after the death of Chifita Matafwali.
And ALVIN CHINGA reports that PF secretary general Davies Chama says that the PFâ€™s seventh parliamentary by-election is testimony that the party is becoming stronger.
â€œThis victory is just a testimony that PF has become even more popular and even more unified by the day,â€ he said in an interview.
And UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma said the local government and parliamentary by-election results showed democracy at its best.
â€œWe want to congratulate the PF for scooping the Bangweulu parliamentary by-election. This is democracy at its best,â€ he said.
Mr Kakoma, who accepted defeat in Bangweulu, said the outcome of the election showed that democracy was taking root in the country.
In Kitwe, HONE SIAME reports that PF Kitwe district youth chairman Mukhuzo Kaboba has advised Ms Nawakwi to use civil language if she is to inspire upcoming politicians and youths.
He said yesterday that the district leadership is disappointed at the uncivil language Ms Nawakwi has been using against President Lungu.
Mr Kaboba said the FDD leader will soon become irrelevant if she does not change her tone of language.
CHIMWEMWE MWALE, CHARLES CHISALA, Lusaka, Samfya