By-elections in low turnout

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FOUR constituencies yesterday went to the polls to elect their representatives in Parliament with all of them recording a low turnout of voters.
In Kafulafuta on the Coppebelt, most polling stations recorded way below half the number of registered voters.
At Chiwala Basic polling station, which is also the totaling centre, a paltry 622 voters had cast their ballots by 17:00 hours out of the registered 1982 voters.
Only 347 voters had cast their votes at Mutaba by 16:00 hours out of the registered 754, while 340 voted at Chikumbi out of 1,534 by 17:48 hours.
By 18:00 hours only 312 had walked into the Lupiya polling station out of the registered 1,296 voters.
Returning officer Darwin Chiwalwa had hoped the pattern of people trickling into the polling stations would change in the afternoon but it was not to be.
Kafulafuta had James Chishiba on the Patriotic Front (PF) ticket, Jimmy Kasabwa National Restoration Party (NAREP), and Brian Chitafu from the United Party for National Development ( UPND) as candidates.
In Mkushi, six candidates contested elections namely, Bernard  Nshimbi of United National Independence Party (UNIP), Ingrid Mpande (PF),  Jonathan Kapungwe (MMD) while  NAREP fielded Albert Kaweya and Felix Chisanga contested as an independent
In Solwezi East, voting kicked off on a relatively slow note with a number of polling stations recording a low turn-out at the time of opening at 06:00 hours. Three candidates were vying for the seat and they are, Villie Lombanya ( UPND), Cephas Luweili (UNIP) and PF’s Peter Ilunga,
At Kasama Polling Station which had three streams, at the opening time of 06:15 hours, six people were seen waiting to cast their votes and by 08:10 hours, stream one had recorded 80 votes cast, stream two, 31 voters with stream three giving a total of votes of 144 out of the total 1, 804 registered voters.
At Kasenfu Polling Station with two streams and a total registered voters of 1, 390, 202 voters had cast their ballots by 09:10 hours..
In Chipata Central, voting was also marred by apathy with few people turning up to cast their votes in most of the polling stations.
A check at, Road Board Offices, Kanjala, Msekera School, Luangwa House and Magazine Market poling stations revealed that few people had cast their votes by mid day.
Chipata central constituency has 49,743 eligible voters and 38 polling stations.
Candidates vying for Chipata Central seat were UNIP’s Elina Nyirenda, Lameck Mangani of the PF, NAREP’s Kazembe Daka, MMD’s Reuben Mtolo Phiri and Penlope Nkunika as an independent.

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