PRESIDENT Sata yesterday signed off his campaign for Patriotic Front candidate David Phiri by stating that Thursday’s by-election results would determine the future of Mkaika.
At a huge rally at Chimutende Grounds, the President told voters to vote for Mr Phiri because the area is in desperate need of development.
“It is up to you to vote wisely and vote for someone who will bring development. If you want to continue suffering…it is all up to you but I am confident that you will make a wise choice because the Bible is categorical that wise people came from the east,” President Sata joked as the crowd clapped in jubilation.
He said it is important for the PF to win the Mkaika seat to increase its parliamentary seats from the current one in Eastern Province.
He observed that Katete is still lagging in many aspects and requires fast track development as it was neglected by the previous administration.
Mr Sata said the PF administration wants to ensure that all districts are developed and improve livelihoods through effective leadership.
The Mkaika seat fell vacant after Mr Phiri left MMD to join the ruling PF.
The President, who was accompanied by Minister of Commerce Emmanuel Chenda and Minister of Education John Phiri, arrived in Katete at 12:30 hours and was received by Eastern Province Minister Malozo Sichone and Minister of Home Affairs Edgar Lungu, among other Government and party officials.
Mr Sata urged the people of Mkaika to vote for Mr Phiri to enable him to facilitate development in the constitutuency.
“You [Mr Phiri] have done well to join PF because you have seen the suffering of the people, who were neglected for a long time because MMD could not bear fruit for the people to benefit when it was in power. We, PF, are not like MMD,” Mr Sata said.
He said the people of Mkaika have a choice to make when they go to the polls on Thursday.
And Mr Phiri said Katete is one of the districts that will benefit from colleges of mathematics and science to be built around the country.
President Sata left for Lusaka shortly before 16:00 hours after addressing another rally at Omelo Mumba Primary School.
And Mr Lungu has advised parties participating in the Mkaika parliamentary by-election to be civil and refrain from language that can spark violence.
Mr Lungu said in a telephone interview from Mkaika that he is worried about the inflammatory language MMD officials have been using during their campaigns.
He urged MMD campaign team members Levy Ngoma and Victoria Kalima to tone down their language to avoid breaching the peace the constituency has been enjoying during the campaigns.
“The two officials have been using emotionally charged language that has the potential to cause violence if they do not tone down,” Mr Lungu said.
He urged the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to monitor the language being used by the parties taking part in the by-election to ensure it is not tantamount to electoral malpractice.
“The country is tired of and fatigued by losing lives and injuries because of electoral violence. I appeal to all parties contesting the election, whether Patriotic Front (PF) or opposition, to use non-inflammatory language, especially on radio stations. We must proceed in this poll in a civilised manner to avoid spilling blood,” Mr Lungu said.
He expressed confidence in the PF’s candidate.