The opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) has dismissed allegations that its officials in Katuba Constituency are trying to de-campaign Patriotic Front (PF) candidate, Moses Chilando, by alleging that he is a foreigner from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
And the Conflict Management Committee, which sat in Chibombo to resolve the matter over the nationality of the PF candidate, has ordered the UPND to stop the alleged accusation but the UPND has maintained its stance and refused to sign the resolution report.
Speaking in a telephone interview with ZANIS in Lusaka today UPND Deputy Spokesperson, Cornelius Mweetwa, stated that his party has no issues to do with the PF candidate because his nationality was already cleared by the constitution which allowed him to file in his nomination and contest election.
Mr Mweetwa stated that stories surrounding the questioning of the PF candidate’s nationality have not been raised by the UPND but some online publications which he said should be followed up by the PF.
He explained that the UPND Katuba constituency officials who attended the Conflict Management meeting could not sign the resolution report because they had no jurisdiction as they are too junior and that they do not understand the content of the reports.
He explained that only senior party officials in his party have the jurisdiction to sign such reports or documents concerning the party.
Mr Mweetwa added that his party is not accusing any candidates participating in the forthcoming parliamentary by-election of anything but pointed out that his candidate has also been accused of a lot of things but the party is not panicking at all.
The PF Elections Committee in Katuba Constituency in Chibombo District lodged in a complaint to the Conflict Management Committee which was chaired by the Chibombo Council Secretary.
The PF was represented at the meeting by its Elections Committee member, Bonie Tembo, Mobilisation Committee member, Austine Lungu, and other constituency party officials.
Mr Tembo stated that the UPND’s accusation on the PF candidate is a violation of the electoral code as it misinforms and misleads voters and further damages the image of Mr Chilando in the eyes of the voters.
PF candidate, Moses Chilando, is quoted in the Times of Zambia as having complained of some political opponents who he said are trying to tarnish his name by peddling falsehoods that he was a foreigner from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Mr Chilando, who is a renowned businessman, said he was “very much Zambian” and that the PF would not have adopted him to stand in Katuba Constituency had he been a foreign national.
Seven candidates are contesting the Katuba by-election Parliamentary by-election slated for February 25, 2014.
These are Moses Chilando of the PF, Cecil Holmes for MMD, United Party for National Development (UPND)’s Jonas Shakafuswa, United National Independence Party (UNIP)’s Friday Malawo and National Restoration Party (NAREP) is being represented by Joseph Mushalika.
Others are Patricia Mwashingwele of Alliance for a Better Zambia (ABZ) and National Revolution Party (NRP)’s Shakespeare Mwakamui.
The Katuba Constituency seat fell vacant after the death of former area MP Patrick Chikusu for MMD, who was also Health Deputy Minister in the PF Government.