Tribalism rocks Mayoral polls in Mazabuka
Mazabuka, March 29th, 2014, ZANIS — Some UPND councillors in Mazabuka have expressed concern over tribal elements being used to de-campaign Stanley Sakala from challenging Ngwezi Ward Councilor and the current deputy mayor Stanley Sakala who is vying for the position of Mayor in preference for a Tonga candidate.
The councillors who preferred anonymity disclosed in separate interviews with ZANIS in Mazabuka today that there is a clique within the party that is working round the clock to ensure that Mr. Sakala is not voted as mayor due to the mare fact that he is not a native of Tonga land.
They disclosed that they have even been directed by Mazabuka Central Member of Parliament Garry Nkombo and current Mayor Lloyd Buumba not to vote for Sakala in preference for Munjile Ward Councilor Fines Mulima who is their fellow tribesman.
The councillors have however vowed to ignore the directives and vote Sakala into position saying g it is their belief that he is the best suitable candidate that can represent their interests well.
The councilors further stated some senior party members in the district are not comfortable electing Sakala into the office of Mayor because of his good relationship with the Patriotic Front government.
“Our colleagues are trying hard to ensure that Sakala despite his popularity does not win the position of mayor simply because he is an Easterner and prefer to have a Tonga in that position.
“The other weapon they are using to de- campaign him is his association with the P.F government because as you may recall he is one of the few councilors that attended last year’s Independence Day celebrations despite directives by our president (Hichilema) to all members not to do so, “disclosed a source who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals.
The councilors assured that despite Mr. Buumba who is not eligible to stand in the forth coming elections phoning and enticing them not to vote for Sakala, they will give their vote to him because UPND is not a party for Tonga’s alone adding that there is need to embrace everyone regardless of one’s tribal affiliation.
But when reached for a comment, Mr. Nkombo dispelled rumours that he was one of those de-campaigning Sakala saying if the Deputy Mayor feels like contesting he can do so because the constitution allows him.
Mr.Nkombo charged that he personally knows no tribe and that he has never held a meeting to discuss the candidature of Sakala whom he referred to as his close friend.
He however defended Buumba saying the outgoing mayor has a right to campaign for a candidate of his choice since he also has a vote.
Those vying for the position of mayor include Mwanachingwala councilor, Richard Malambo, Amon Shanabwatu of Kalama, Fines Mulima of Munjile ward and Stanslous Mweene of Chivuna ward.
Efforts to get a comment from Buumba proved futile as his phone went an answered.
Government has set April 4th as the date for mayoral elections for Municipal and City councils as well those for Chairmen in district councils countrywide.