United Party for National Development (UPND) on the Copperbelt Province says the just ended Masaiti parliamentary by-elections were free and fair, despite the party’s loss.
UPND Copperbelt Secretary told ZANIS that tribalism cannot come into play as about 20 per cent of the registered voters in Masaiti are not original Lambas.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kasongo alleged that despite the loss, the UPND is gaining supporters who are mostly from PF as can be seen from the recent voting pattern.
“As you can see from our performance in these elections, the competition is now just between UPND and PF and in constituencies where we used to get almost nothing we are now getting thousands with numbers still growing,” said Mr. Kasongo.
And Patriotic Front (PF) Copperbelt Secretary Amon Chisenga has thanked the people of Masaiti for accepting the PF by voting for Mr. Katambo as area MP.
Mr. Chisenga said the recent election victories clearly indicate that people have got confidence in the leadership of President Edgar Lungu.
Copperbelt UPND Provincial Secretary, Augustine Kasongo told ZANIS that except for some pockets of violence by PF cadres on UPND camp which was reported by the media, there was nothing much to complain about on the election process.
And Mr. Kasongo said the loss by the UPND is due to some advantages that the PF had over the UPND such as the fielding of a sitting candidate and it being the ruling party.
Mr. Kasongo also bemoaned the voter apathy that charactarised the just ended three by-elections in the country, adding that the Electoral Commission Of Zambia (ECZ) in Masaiti was forced to go around wards educating voters on the importance of voting.
And the Copperbelt PF Provincial Secretary has asked government to come up with a mobile voter registration programme to help address low voter turnouts.
PF candidate Michael Katambo, won the Masaiti parliamentary seat after polling 5,052 votes against his closest rival Peter Mumba of the UPND who polled 2,150 votes.