PATRIOTIC Front (PF) campaign manager for the Katuba parliamentary by-election Edgar Lungu says he fears that some party cadres from Lusaka might cause violence in Katuba because of its proximity to the capital city.
“Our fear is that this is a peri-urban and partly rural constituency and the influence of violence might not come from here [Katuba] but might spill over from Lusaka. We pray that, that doesn’t turn out to be the case,” Mr Lungu said.
Mr Lungu, who is Minister of Defence, said in an interview in Katuba on Thursday that he is happy that Katuba has been violence-free since campaigns started.
He thanked the people of Katuba for exhibiting maturity and hoped that the peaceful nature of the campaigns is not a false start.
“We just hope that this is not a false start. We pray that the same sense of responsibility and orderliness is allowed to prevail up to the polling day, counting and declaration of results,” Mr Lungu said.
He said the PF campaign team is continuing with peaceful door-to-door campaigns and holding of rallies in Katuba.
He also said the PF campaign team has been meeting the electorate to explain party programmes and Government’s achievements since assuming office.
Mr Lungu said it was profitable for Government to work with former member of Parliament Patrick Chikusu to foster development in the area.
He said the PF government will continue building from where Dr Chikusu left.
“He [Dr Chikusu] embraced PF, embraced MMD and UPND (United Party for National Development) because his agenda was development. That is what we are telling the people that we intend to continue, but we are going to continue with a candidate who is better placed to effect and follow the path of the late Dr Chikusu,” he said.
“As for other political parties we don’t want to waste time talking about them because we haven’t even heard about them on the ground, we have not seen them in the process of campaigning.
“I hope they are not campaigning outside the constituency because campaigns are in the constituency,” Mr Lungu said.
And MMD candidate Cecil Holmes said he has been delivering the message of development to the people of Katuba.
Mr Holmes said the campaigns are going on well so far.
National Restoration Party (NAREP) candidate Joseph Mushalika said he is doing very well and that he is happy because people’s mindset is shifting towards issue-based politics.
He said it is clear that people are fed up of old ideas and their voting pattern will not be influenced by names of candidates or political parties but they will vote for someone who gives hope to the future generation.
The PF is fielding Joseph Chilando while the UPND has Jonas Shakafuswa in the Katuba parliamentary by-election set for February 25.
The seat fell vacant after the death of Dr Chikusu, who was MMD MP and also Deputy Minister of Health.