The ruling United Party for National Development (UPND) has scooped the Lusangazi Council Chairperson seat by-election in the Lusangazi District , Eastern Province.
Returning officer, Lucy Phiri declared Blackson Tembo as the duly elected Council Chairperson for Lusangazi exactly at 08:30 hours Saturday following a closely contested election.
Mr Tembo won the Lusangazi Council seat with 6,655 votes, beating his closest rival, Nelson Banda of the Patriotic Front, (PF) party who got 5,669 votes.
Independent candidate Danny Sakala was third after getting 617 votes , fourth Candidate in the race, David Muwowo for Socialist Party, polled 569 votes, and New Heritage party’s Pascal Kambani trailed by 449 votes.
Lusangazi has a total of 41,500 registered voters in Lusangazi, however, only 14,184 voted in yesterday’s council chairperson election.
A total of 13,959 were counted as valid votes while 225 were rejected as invalid.
“I Lucy Phiri, being the returning officer for Msanzala Constituency, therefore, declare that the said Blackson Tembo to be this day duly elected as Council Chairperson for Lusangazi Council,” she said.
The Lusangazi Council Chairperson seat fell vacant following the decision of the election tribunal to nullify the election of Patrick Banda as Lusangazi Council Chairperson.
And speaking immediately after being declared winner, Mr Tembo thanked the people of Lusangazi for voting for him and the UPND for having confidence in him.
He promised to deliver development to various parts of Lusangazi as per his campaign promises.
“I thank the people of Lusangazi for voting for me, the UPND party for having confidence in me and I would like to say I’m the servant of Lusangazi people so I will work hard to deliver the promised development to the area,” he said.
And Chairperson for the Lusangazi by-election, Peter Phiri said the Victory in Lusangazi shows the confidence that people have in the ruling party.
Mr. Phiri added the ruling alliance will deliver development to the expectations of the people as it had already done enough for the one year they have been in power.
“I appreciate the Party’s victory in Lusangazi and this shows that they have confidence in the UPND and this Government will continue delivering development to the expectations of the people as it had already done in the past year,” he said.
Meanwhile, National Vice Chairperson for the UPND Andrew Banda said the Lusangazi victory is a clear demonstration that the party is strong at the grassroots and it has spread in the country.
“Leadership is from God and what we have seen in Lusangazi is the will of God but let me mention that this victory is a clear demonstration that UPND is strong on the ground,” he said.
And an observer, Gears Coordinator for Lusangazi, Mathews Ng’ambilani, said the Lusangazi Council Chairperson by-election was free and fair.
Mr. Ng’ambilani urged political parties to desist from any behaviour that leads to election violence.
“In general I can say the Lusangazi Council Chairperson by-election was free and fair and I would like to urge political parties to stop the practice of ferrying cadres from other places to places where they are by-election because such people are the ones that cause violence,” he said.