United Party for National Development (UPND) national chairman Steven Katuka has dismissed as nonsensical insinuations by some political opponents that the party wants to change its Kabwata parliamentary candidate because Andrew Tayengwa is unpopular.
Mr. Katuka who spoke to QFM radio station accused the opposition Patriotic Front (PF) of spreading the propaganda because it is scared of the UPND candidate, and has since offered to have his head cut off if the party changes its Kabwata parliamentary candidate Andrew Tayengwa.
Mr. Katuka said that the party did its homework before adopting Mr. Tayengwa and that the party is ready to accept the outcome of the by-election as it has done in the past elections.
Mr Katuka is, however, optimistic that the party will emerge victorious once the election is held.
And Christian Coalition president Charles Mwape has charged that any political party that will change its candidate for the Kabwata by-election should be held responsible for the cancellation of the by-election.
Professor Mwape said that reports suggesting the change of candidate are unfortunate and should not be tolerated and recommended that going forward, any political party whose candidate withdrawal from the race should be given the responsibility of printing the ballot papers and paying fresh nomination fees.
Meanwhile, former United Progressive People (UPP) Kabwata parliamentary candidate Francis Libanda has rubbished accusations suggesting that was paid by the ruling UPND to withdraw from the by-election, a move that necessitated the cancellation of the election by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).
Mr. Libanda said that as much as he regrets the cost implications of his action to the nation, especially that the ballot papers have arrived in the country, at no time in his life has he been associated with the UPND which is being accused of paying him to withdraw from the race.
Speaking when he addressed a media briefing in Lusaka today, Mr. Libanda said that the decision to withdraw from the race was born out of his desire to have a clean conscience, stating that it beats his conscience to think that he should have participated in an election process that is shrouded in corruption.
Mr. Libanda said that the reason he pulled out is that one of the candidates was reported to the drug enforcement commission (DEC) by his political party official for money laundering, while another candidate his own party officials questioned his credentials, to the extent of petitioning his adoption to contest the by-election.