Former Justice Minister and ex-PF secretary General Wynter kabimba’s newly formed Rainbow party will for the first time take party in the September 24th Lubansenshi parliamentary by-election after Daniel Mubanga, who would run on the Rainbow Party ticket, successfully filed in his nomination this afternoon.
The Lubansenshi by-election will be a five-horse race after other four aspiring candidates successfully filed in their nomination papers in Luwingu today.
The other four that returning officer Christopher Simusokwe declared as eligible were the Patriotic Front’s George Mwamba, Charles Chimumbwa who is running as an independent and Patrick Mucheleka who has decided to recontest the seat he lost after his election was nullified was by the Supreme Court under the United Party for National Development (UPND). The MMD completes the list with Gabriel Mulenga as the candidate.
The UNIP candidate, who would have brought the total number of aspirants to six, was a no-show despite earleir reports that the party would would contest the seat.
There was fan fare in the usually quiet district as candidates with supporters in tow made their way to the filing centre at the Luwingu District Council chambers.
In an all systems go mode, PF candidate Mr Mwamba said if elected, he would continue pushing the party’s development agenda that had been evidenced by the multi-million development projects in the education and roads sector that was being witnessed in the district.
“It is very visible even here in Luwingu that Government has constructed roads and various infrastructure such as schools and hospitals,” he said.
Mr Mucheleka who was until the recent judicial ruling that saw him lose his seat said he would work hard to become the first UPND MP in Northern Province.
Mr Mubanga from the socialist Rainbow Party said he would focus on ensuring that he improved the delivery of health services.
MMD candidate Mr Mulenga’s pledge to continue where his father, a former MP from the area, had left.
And in Solwezi, three political parties successfully filed in their papers with Returning officer Adraida Banda-Daka but Enock Kikatula the candidate for 3rd Liberation Movement failed to lodge his papers as the party’s symbol was said to be similar to the one for UNIP.
PF candidate for Solwezi West constituency by-election Martin Mbaya has declared himself ready to win the seat and bring leadership of development.
Mr Mbaya, who filed in his nomination papers before Ms Daka about 12:12 hours said he was coming to in as area member of parliament to provide leadership that was meant to bring development.
Mr Mbaya who was accompanied by his campaign manager Mr Richard Kapita, lands minister and Zambezi West member of parliament Christabel Ngimbu, Tourism minister and Mandevu MP Jean Kapata and North Western province minister Dawson Kafwaya said the PF said the people of Solwezi West would give him the backing owing to the development projects aimed for the area including others that the ruling party had initiated in the region.
“We have won the battle but the war now begins. We have done our work and the message will be very clear. Our message is clearly that we are providing leadership in view of providing development to the people. Basically with what we have put in place and the developmental projects that the Patriotic Front government has brought into North Western province, we shall easily carry the day, this was just a formality we were waiting for,” Mr Mbaya said.
And Mr Kapita said North Western was turning to supporting President Lungu as the people were happy with his message of taking development to parts of the country.
Mr Kapita said President Lungu was a leader of the people and his love for the nation could not be put in doubt.
Meanwhile, the MMD candidate Mr Fordson Malishinyi withdrew his candidature to support Mr Mbaya. Mr Kapita said North Western had started the match to fully support the ruling party and would give the seat to the PF in response to President Lungu’s gesture not to discriminate some areas of the country in terms of development.
He said President Lungu was working hard uniting the country through developing the nation as a whole and expressed hope that even in 2016 the ruling party will carry the day.
UNIP candidate Mr John Njombi said he would work with the people in making sure there were more schools in the area as well as water points.
UPND candidate Mr Teddy Kasonso claimed the people in the area were behind him and he would put up a good fight to win the seat but accused the mining firms in the area of not doing enough to uplift the living conditions of the people as there was not much development in the area citing lack of water facilities in the Manyama area and schools in the constituency.
Meanwhile, The Electoral Commission of Zambia-ECZ- has quashed the petition by the Movement for Multi-party Democracy-MMD to extend nominations for the Solwezi West Parliamentary by-elections.
The MMD contended that the party needed to find an alternative candidate, as Fordson Museli who was adopted to stand on the party ticket pulled out of the race during nominations.
MMD President Nevers Mumba alleged that Mr. Museli has pulled out of the race after allegedly being bribed by competitors.
But ECZ Director Priscilla Isaac noted that there is no basis to warrant the extension of nominations for the Solwezi West Parliamentary by-election.
Earlier, there was drama as one of the men in the MMD entourage forced the door to the ECZ Chairperson Esau Chulu, open as his Personal Assistant advised that the party officials should instead seek audience with ECZ Public Relations Manager Chris Akufuna.
The action angered Justice Chulu who observed that the party officials must respect offices of public institutions.
And Dr. Mumba told Justice Chulu that the ECZ should impartially respond to electoral disputes to avoid political violence.