Candidates confident of election victory

POLITICAL parties participating in tomorrow’s Zambezi West parliamentary by-elections are confident of winning the seat.
MMD parliamentary candidate Prisca Kucheka said in an interview yesterday that the Zambezi West bank is lagging in development due to lack of a bridge across the Zambezi River and the poor road network.
“My top priority is to ensure that the bridge is constructed as it will accelerate development on the west bank,” she said.
Ms Kucheka, a businesswoman, also said youths in the area should be empowered so that they can become self-reliant.
“I am also interested in ensuring that the health of the people is taken care of by constructing health posts,” Ms Kucheka said.
Patriotic Front (PF) candidate Christabel Ngimbu said time has come for the people of Zambezi West to work with Government.
She promised to lobby Government to expedite the construction of the bridge across the Zambezi River if elected member of Parliament (MP).
“If Government has done it in Western Province by constructing a bridge across the Zambezi River, what will stop the authority to construct a bridge here,” she asked.
United Party for National Development (UPND) candidate Charles Kakoma said he has worked tirelessly for the people of Zambezi West by lobbying Government to build a bridge.
“Even the telecommunication towers have come about because of my lobbying for better communication in Zambezi West,” he said.
But National Restoration Party (NRP) candidate Hastings Kanguya said: “It is not the bridge that will bring development, but development should be enhanced in Zambezi.
“The new MP should be supported by all well-meaning Zambians for accelerated development on the Zambezi West bank,” he said.
Other candidates contesting the seat are Mark Kachongo of Forum for Development and Democracy  (FDD), and Green Party of Zambia (GPZ) candidate Chilila Kayombo.
Meanwhile, four political parties with candidates contesting the Kasenengwa parliamentary by-election have commended the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) for conducting a transparent ballot paper verification exercise.
PF Chipata district chairperson Frank Bweupe , who witnessed the verification of the ballot papers at Chipata Municipal Council on Monday, said in an interview that the ballot paper verification exercise was done in a professional manner.
“As a ruling political party, we did not have any complaint over the verification of the ballot papers,” Mr Bweupe said.
Mr Bweupe said he is happy that campaigns have been free of violence and intimidation because everyone is fighting for a common cause of delivering development to Kasenengwa.
He said Government is constructing roads, schools and clinics countrywide and Kasenengwa will receive its share once PF candidate Gideon Zulu is elected MP.
UPND Kasenengwa constituency chairperson Jonathan Ndhlovu said the ballot paper verification exercise went on smoothly and the opposition party is confident that its candidate Timothy Nyirenda will win tomorrow’s election.
UNIP Eastern Province trustee Handrose Mtonga said the party’s candidate Khumbiza Daka will win tomorrow’s by-election.
MMD Chipata district chairperson Sinoya Mwale said he is confident that former Kasenengwa MP Victoria Kalima will retain the seat.
Kasenengwa has 41,795 registered voters.
Meanwhile, JIMMY CHIBUYE reports that PF Vubwi parliamentary candidate Margaret Miti has urged the electorate not to waste their votes on the opposition.
But UPND and MMD are optimistic of winning the election because they have done enough groundwork.
Ms Miti said at a meeting on Sunday in Mbande area that voting for an opposition MP will be a mistake the people of Vubwi will live to regret.
“The PF is bringing development to Vubwi and you people have seen it for yourselves. In 2011, we did not vote for President Sata and the PF but he has continued to bring development here.
“So I am begging you to vote for me on Thursday so that we can continue with this development agenda that our President and the government have started,” she said.
PF campaign leader Panji Kaunda urged residents of Vubwi to give the PF government a chance to develop the area by voting for Ms Miti.
Eastern Province minister Malozo Sichone said Vubwi is on President Sata’s development agenda and the residents should not disappoint him by voting for an opposition MP.
At the same meeting 41 members from the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) joined the PF.
But UPND candidate Afonso Phiri said in an interview yesterday that Vubwi should vote for him because only the UPND can develop the area.
“Vubwi has remained underdeveloped mainly due to poor representation and neglect from the PF government,” he said.
MMD campaign manager Alexander Miti said in a separate interview yesterday that the MMD should be left to continue with its development programmes that it started under Dr  Eustarckio Kazonga.
Mr Miti said PF is allegedly hoodwinking people that it will connect the area to the national electricity grid because there is a by-election.
He said the MMD has done a lot of groundworks  and  expected to return the seat tomorrow.
The Vubwi parliamentary seat fell vacant after the Supreme Court nullified the election of Dr Kazonga due to electoral malpractices.

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