THE MMD has congratulated the Patriotic Front (PF) for winning the Mporokoso parliamentary by-election held on March 3.
And the MMD has won four, including Mutaba ward in Masaiti, out of the seven local government ward by-elections held simultaneously with the Mporokoso parliamentary by-election. The PF got two ward seats while UPND won one.
PF parliamentary candidate Maynard Misapa polled 2,844 votes against MMD’s Dominic Musonda, who got 2,217.
Congratulating the PF, President Banda told journalists in Kasumbalesa on March 4 that the election result is not a reflection that the ruling party is losing ground in Mporokoso, JERRY MUNTHALI reports.
“I congratulate very much the PF for winning that election, we think we gave it the best we could but that is the democracy we are talking about. We must go to elections to win or lose. When you lose, you must congratulate the other and wait for the next round,” he said.
He said it is sad that the MMD lost the seat but that the result does not mean that the ruling party is becoming unpopular in the district.
Mr Banda rated his chances of winning the presidential elections in Mporokoso as very high.
“Even in Mporokoso itself, I rate my chances very high. I think that in the elections, whose date I shall keep secret from you but it is very soon, we will re-organise ourselves,” he said.
“But that is politics, it is like boxing. If they hit you and you fall, you get up and start creating fear in the other person and you keep going. You can win the fight even if you had fallen earlier.”
In a Ward by elections on the Copperbelt, the MMD Gilbert Kaindu got 477 votes, UPND’s John Tuseko got 293 votes and PF’s West Phiri got only 80 votes.
On the Copperbelt Mutaba ward by-election in Masaiti, the MMD says it has shamed Kafulafuta member of Parliament George Mpombo, who de-campaigned the ruling party in the run-up to the by-election, reports KANGWA MULENGA.
Provincial vice chairman Frank N’gambi said in an interview in Ndola on March 4 that winning the Mutaba ward by-election is testimony of the popularity the ruling party is gaining on the Copperbelt, contrary to claims by Mr Mpombo that the MMD is finished.
The MMD fielded Gilbert Kaindu, who polled 477 votes, beating other candidates, John Tuseko of the United Party for National Development, who got 293 and Patriotic Front’s West Phiri trailed with only 80 votes.
“As MMD on the Copperbelt, the victory in Mutaba ward is good news for George Mpombo, who spent sleepless nights de-campaigning the ruling party. We have shamed him,” Mr N’gambi said.
He assured President Banda that the party will continue to work hard ahead of this year’s general elections.
Mr Ng’ambi commended all party structures in the province for the good job done during the campaigns.
MMD Ndola district chairman Victor Konie said the victory is a warning to the opposition that the ruling party has regained its popularity on the Copperbelt. Mr Konie said the ruling party on the Copperbelt will not relent in mobilising the party ahead of the general elections this year.
“We will not spend our energies responding to insults from the opposition but to organise the party to ensure that President Banda and the MMD win this year’s general elections. We have demonstrated this in the Mutaba ward by-election,” Mr Konie said.
In the Mporokoso poll, National Restoration Party candidate Joyce Mukandocame a distant third with 435 votes while UNIP’s Anthony Nkonde only managed a paltry 71 votes.
Announcing the results at Bulangililo Community Hall at 08:50 hours yesterday, returning officer Felix Mukuka declared Mr Misapa the winner of the by-election.
This was after ballot boxes from Nkantanga and Sunkutu polling stations were air-lifted by a Zambia Air Force helicopter around 08:00 hours.
And Mr Misapa said shortly after being declared winner that he expected to win the by-election because he was the most popular candidate.
But MMD acting national secretary Chembe Nyangu said although the ruling party had been negatively affected by the loss, the development was a temporary setback.
Anti-Voter Apathy Project executive director Bonny Tembo said it was worrying that only 5,567 people out of the 12,000 registered voters in the district took part in the election.
Mr Tembo said apart from the rains that disrupted the voting, many people could not manage to cast their ballots mainly because of the long distances they had to cover to reach polling stations which are far apart.
He, however, said the elections were conducted in a free and peaceful atmosphere.
The Mporokoso parliamentary seat fell vacant after Mr Misapa resigned from the MMD to join the PF.
This was after President Banda dropped him from the position of Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development.
[Zambia Daily Mail]