f”>Zambia Daily Mail by Online Editor on 6/20/13
From KELVIN KACHINGWE in Feira
THE Feira parliamentary by-election which took place yesterday was characterised by apathy.
Election observers said if 3,000 out of the over 11,000 registered voters turned up at the polls, the election would be a success.
The by-election was being contested by Patrick Ngoma of the Patriotic Front (PF), who resigned from the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) while the former ruling party was fielding Elias Phiri.
UNIP had Charles Kanyama, the United Party for National Development had Eularia Zulu and Samuel Sikaonga was fielded by the National Restoration Party.
Luangwa district electoral officer Peter Nguluwe told the Daily Mail earlier that he expected a high voter turn-out because of massive sensitisation.
Zambia Anglican Council resident priest Zacchaeus Zulu, who is monitoring the elections, said it was unlikely that more than 3,000 voters would cast their ballots, going by the apathy.
“The elections so far are going well but they started on a low note. If we manage to get 3,000 voters, that would be a success. Our projections are that 2,000 voters cast their ballots by 14:00 hours.
It would appear that most voters have misplaced their voters cards and people are fatigued…they were voting recently in a ward election, and it has not been long after the general election,” he said.
Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) Luangwa national chairman Richard Tembo said there is need to work on the voters’ register in view of deaths and transfer of personnel.
Although most polling centres opened around 06:00 hours, few had recorded any significant numbers of voters
By 09:00 hours, Kavalamanja Primary School polling centre, under M’klava ward, had recorded 153 voters out of 422 registered voters.
Other centres recording impressive turn-outs were Kakoro polling station in Phwazi ward which had a voter turn-out of 133 out of 334 by 09:50 hours.
Luangwa Primary School had 135 voters out of 1,009 voters by 14.30 hours.
CCF polling centre in Phwazi ward recorded 70 votes out of the 384 registered voters by 08:20 hours.
Another polling centre, M’nake, also in Phwazi ward, had recorded 43 voters out of 448 by 07:50 hours having opened the centre for voting around 06:00 hours, just like most of the centres.
Results are expected today.