TODAY marks the end of a grueling campaign period for the two parliamentary by elections in Mufumbwe and Milanzi.
The two seats fell vacant after the deaths of Misheck Bonse and Rueben Chisanga Banda respectively.
Three candidates, Elliot Kamondo, 45, of United Party for National Development (UPND), Stephen Kamwengo, 37, of UNIP and the ruling MMD’s Mulondwe Muzungu, 68, are vying for the seat in Mufumbwe.
In Milanzi, the MMD is fielding Whiteson Banda, UNIP has floated Musa Banda while Mr Albert Banda is standing on the Patriotic Front ticket.
Campaigns over the last three weeks for Mufumbwe have been hectic and sometimes brutal.
It could be blamed on the ‘imported’ cadres from Lusaka and Copperbelt provinces, but the reason the seat is bitterly contested is that it may just shape the political landscape of North-Western Province.
Forget the Solwezi Central seat won by Watson Lumba, of the UPND (backed by Patriotic Front) last November, Mufumbwe is the real battle for the province.
Solwezi may be the region’s metropolis, but it has become a cosmopolitan town since the opening of Kansanshi and Lumwana mines. So, Mufumbwe gives a fairer representation of North-Western Province.
Whoever wins today’s poll will have bragging rights going into next year’s general elections. The MMD wants to retain the Mufumbwe seat, the UPND wants to keep the momentum after winning Solwezi Central and ward by-elections in Solwezi, Mwinilunga and Zambezi.
With due respect to the UNIP candidate Mr Kamwengo, a Lusaka-based businessman, the real battle is between Mr Kamondo and Mr Muzungu.
No wonder the violence was between supporters of these two candidates.
While Mr Kamondo, a prominent local businessperson, narrowly lost the 2006 polls to the late Mr Bonshe, Mr Muzungu, a veteran politician just recalled from his diplomatic job in Libya to re-enter politics, is a two-time former MP.
Mr Kamwengo and Mr Kamondo both want to develop Mufumbwe if elected MP while Mr Muzungu says he would simply continue developmental programmes of the party in Government.
In Milanzi, residents are going to the polls today to elect an MP in a by-election following the death of Mr Banda after a road traffic accident.
It is probably unprecedented in the history of Zambian politics that the electorate from one constituency could go to the parliamentary polls three times in less than five years.
The late Mr Banda from the ruling MMD scooped the seat from UNIP in 2008, after late Chisani Banda, during a by-election but he too could not finish his term because he suffered the same fate as his predecessor.
Now the people would be electing a new representative who will pick up the mandate from where Mr Banda left off and represent the people of Milanzi in Parliament.
The MMD, PF-UPND pact and UNIP are contesting the by-election.
The MMD is fielding 35-year-old Whiteson Banda, who is largely considered to be a son of Milanzi.
The PF-UPND pact has Albert Banda, an engineer who has just given up his job at Zamtel in Lusaka.
The former ruling party UNIP is fielding Musa Banda, another man who is also considered as a native of Milanzi.
The Milanzi by-election has largely been peaceful and in the last two weeks. The constituency experienced increased political activities because the three political parties vying for the seat were criss-crossing the villages in a bid to woo voters.
But yesterday, all the political parties were upbeat to hold final campaign rallies and this happened simultaneously in different parts of the constituency where the politicians presented their candidates as the best.
Yesterday’s campaign activities started as early as 05:00 hours when the contesting political party supporters went round the villages with megaphones and other public address systems to capture voters.
MMD campaign manager Eustarckio Kazonga said the MMD was the most preferred to win the election because of incumbency.
He said the ruling party was taking development to Milanzi even when it was not time for elections.
“It is certain that we are winning the elections because our works are there for everyone to see,” he said.
MMD candidate Whiteson Banda pledged to work with traditional leaders, women and the youth to bring development to Milanzi.
“I have the advantage to represent the people of Milanzi effectively because I am coming from the party that is in Government and I was born and raised in this area where I know the needs of the people,” he said.
But the other candidates were not to be outclassed. UNIP’s Banda said he had been conducting developmental programmes in Milanzi and this election was a mere formality.
“I have helped to build a teacher’s house at one of the schools. I have also been conducting football tournaments for youths who are now staying away from alcohol abuse,” he said.
The pact candidate, Mr Banda said he was the most educated man among the three candidates and his education would help him represent the people of Milanzi effectively.
He said the ruling party had failed to take development to the constituency and that the PF would do so if he went to Parliament.
There are concerns the people of Milanzi may be experiencing voter fatigue but electoral officer Greyson Nkhata, who is Katete district council secretary, is optimistic the turnout would be higher than in the previous elections.
“We have been doing voter education and the three political parties contesting the elections have also done a lot of work to educate voters. This is why we expect the voter turnout to be large,” he said.
All the election materials and other logistics were delivered on time ahead of the elections.
Milanzi, which has 19,700 voters and 40 polling stations, is one of the biggest constituencies in Zambia. It borders Mozambique.
By and large, the three contenders in the by-election have been speaking one language during the campaigns.
They believe Milanzi needs development. In any case, the political campaigns were centred on promises to build and develop roads, clinics, bridges, schools, markets, dams and agriculture.
However, the decision on who becomes the next MP for the constituency rests on ballots the people of Milanzi would cast after the voting ends at 18:00 hours today.
[ Times of Zambia ]
“Hichilema promised to take 20 heads of cattle for celebrations if the people voted for Kamondo.
And UNIP’s Stephen Kamwengo said he would win today’s by-election.”
“Kamwengo said people in the area did not need Muzungu because he was very old and a failure while Kamondo was tribal.”
We all know what our Electral Code of Conduct says. This is the violetion of the Electral Code of Conduct as amended in 2006. Coming to the Violence it is sad that youths have continued being used as tools of violence. We had the Opposition parties can sorber up and carry out clean campaigns. The blood spelt in Mufumbwe is un called for!!!!
Exit polls from both Mufumbwe and Milanzi suggest the MMD will scoop the two seats.
KATUBI, KATUBI , tekenya these friends of yours MMD will only win in Mialanzi not Mufumbwe that is why they are busy causing violence their because they have realised that their seat is going to UPND no matter what .By way the celebration is on saturday , HH is taking 20 head of cattle their .ULechimona Chi MMD wapya munzi kumufumbwe Shikulu wobe aleya mu 2011.
TRULY, politicians should not take each other’s lives for the sake of winning an election.
It is indeed saddening to see some people who are ready to kill in order to be national leaders. This is what Rupiah Banda is saying. But this is exactly the opposite of what he is doing.
All along, Rupiah has defended and justified the violence of MMD cadres. We have been victims of this violence and Rupiah has justified the MMD cadres’ violence against our journalists.
Our reporters are not violent people and have never in any way gone out to physically attack anyone. But still this has not spared them the violence of MMD cadres. And MMD cadres have never needed pretext to attack anyone. This is why they attack any citizen who tries to exercise his or her constitutional right to…
“The pact candidate, Mr Banda said he was the most educated man among the three candidates and his education would help him represent the people of Milanzi effectively.”
——-Mr Banda PF, what does that say about your leader, Mr Sata? Did you consult him before you uttered that statement?
Anyhow, the battle lines are drawn. We have heard the speeches and insults, seen the pangas and guns, and heard the dogs and puppies bark. May the best man for the job win, AMEN.
#4, Bias and hearsay is a cancer in our society.
The most important aspect is not what takes on between 6am – 6pm. The rigging takes place after the polls have closed (after 6pm). Our brothers and sisters both in Mufumbwe and Milanzi need to be sensitised to guide there votes seriously, be at the polling stations up and until the votes have been counted and verified. Every one should know how many votes are coming from which polling station
Come on People, Kick out this useless MMD!
RB ,how can u field a 68 years old man.oh poor boy.shame on MMD .and if the people of mufumbwe are serious they should not give even a single vote to muzungu
Are you blind that you did not read the President said
“Cadres attacked the upnd member and i condone violence,I DONT CARE WHO DID IT”.
Those last 6 words show how great this president is with his presidential wisdom.
You say leaders will always say the right words as they are guided by greatness.
Well this president just claimed HE DOES NOT CARE WHO DID IT.
The reason is he cant stop the violence now started by William Banda and his gang on muscle monkeys.
the pact will win both constituencies even if the mmd tries to leak the elections————–wapya baisa ba pact mukose no ku kosa
kash money where are you 2de man waiting for comment
May the best men win.
pact is winning in mufumbwe and may narrolwly lose milanzi,watch the space.
shame on Kabonde wat an IG we have yesterday in mufumbwe he was watching the cardes as they were hacking each other.tha man shud be fired.
mmd is going in 2011 come wat.
Katie you have made me laugh though this is not laughable. Anyhow, the battle lines are drawn. We have heard the speeches and insults, seen the pangas and guns, and heard the dogs and puppies bark. May the best man for the job win, AMEN.
Bane umfweni, some UPND supporters have been chased into the bush by policemen and are afraid to show up for voting. HH’s camp house is sorrounded by POPO and is not allowed to go out until voting is over. The UPND candidate is going to be arrested the moment he goes to vote. What kind of voting is this, where the candidate can be can not be allowed to vote? ****ING POLICE STATE!
There is a recent precedent of 3 parliamentary elections in less than 5 years in the same constituency. In the Kantanshi constituency of Mufulira Mr Danny Kombe was elected MP on the MMD ticket in 2001. In 2003 he died and by elections were held where the PF candidate Alex Manda won the elections. Later in 2004 he too died and by elections where subsequently held. The seat was retained by PF with their candidate Yamfwa Mukanga who is still the serving MP. He retained his seat in the 2006 parliamentary and general elections. So to the Times of Zambia author of this article there definitely is precedent in the Zambian political history of what has transpired in Milanzi. One would expect that the national news paper wold know better
Bushe aya ama candidates, are they sons of the same father? Banda, Banda, Banda, Banda, kwati ninswa. May the Best Banda win the elections. Bandaz my foot!!!!
Kwena yee…some of you, can you be realistic, the right thing to say is let the best person with the qualities win…whether PF, MMD pact chani ….UNIP, as the long as the person is right for the job, let them carry the day after all its the people in these constituencies to choose the right one, ala.
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