United Party for National Development (UPND) President Hakainde Hichilema has said that the voters in Solwezi and Lubansenshi have sent a have sent a powerful message to the Patriotic Front (PF) Government that using taxpayers money to corrupt the mind of voters will not work in 2016.
In a message thanking his campaigners and all the people who turned out to vote, the UPND leader said that while his party may not have triumphed in Lubansenshi, the Party has managed to reduce the PF vote to less than 50% in the constituency, an area the PF had thought was still their stronghold, despite intimidation and threats.
Below is the full Statement
Official Statement on By election Results from HH
25 September 2015
We would like to thank our campaigners and all the people who turned out to vote in yesterday’s parliamentary and ward by elections.
Our fellow citizens in both Lubansenshi and Solwezi West braved violence, intimidation and threats to exercise their democratic right and vote for change that addresses the current economic challenges they are facing.
In particular, the result of the Solwezi West parliamentary by election which saw our candidate Teddy Kasonso win with an overwhelming majority of more than 75%, shows that together we can triumph even in the face of police brutality and PF thuggery. Our congratulations go to the newly elected Hon Kasonso. We know he will serve the people of Solwezi West well even in the short time before the next elections.
The voters of Solwezi West, and to a large extent Lubansenshi, have sent a powerful message to the PF Government that using taxpayers money to corrupt the mind of voters will not work in 2016. The pain is too much and the people are suffering. They have seen that the current PF Government does not care for the people. Look how they behave, instead of addressing the economic problems and challenges at home even the President himself is more concerned about travelling around, spending money on allowances while civil servants at home go without salaries.
Despite falling short in the Lubansenshi parliamentary by election, Patrick Mucheleka was and still is a very strong candidate and the best for Lubansenshi. He did his best to retain that seat and continue serving the people of Lubansenshi, but that was not to be. I would like to urge Patrick to not lose heart, but forge ahead and continue serving the people of Lubansenshi as before. We all know that the PF is preoccupied with winning elections, after that they forget the people that put them in power.
But we are consoled by the huge share increase in our numbers from January 2015 and this in the face of serious interference and manipulation that cannot be tolerated by the ECZ in 2016. The ECZ must learn from these by elections and make sure that those who flout electoral regulations such as vote buying are punished.
Let us not forget that our campaign team in Lubansenshi were constantly being harassment and exposed to the violent behaviour by PF cadres during the campaign period. While we may not have triumphed the PF vote was reduced to less than 50% in the constituency. This in an area the PF had thought was still their stronghold!
As more and more Zambians from across the country join our party we are better able to reveal this interference and manipulation by the PF. The trend is in our favour and in 2016 together we can win the elections and get started immediately on addressing the various important issues at hand, stabilising the economy, addressing management issues in the power sector, passing on oil price falls to the consumer, delivering the people-driven constitution and addressing the crisis in higher education.
Fellow Zambians. Solwezi and Lubansenshi and a number of ward by elections have shown the way, amidst vote buying, brutality, intimidation they have shown that Zambians can rise up and correct things.
Let us now get the voting instruments we need so that come 2016 we can vote together come rain or shine to move Zambia Forward.