We would like to start by thanking all UPND supporters and party members who worked hard throughout this by-election campaign. Your energy and dedication is greatly appreciated. In these by-elections we have once again demonstrated that the UPND is providing the only major opposition to the current PF Government. The inroads we have made into Eastern Province and our strong performance in the Senga Hill parliamentary by-election also provide further evidence that the UPND’s popularity continues to surge across the length and breadth of the country.
We would also like to congratulate the wining candidates and appeal to them to serve the public’s interest at all times, putting aside selfish or personal interests. However, it would seem that voter apathy was once more the real winner yesterday, with low turnouts recorded. Just 15% of registered voters are reported to have turned out in the Chawama parliamentary by-election.
Zambians, having been let down by government after government, are understandably fatigued by politics. Elected representatives must regain the confidence of the people by working hard, working in a transparent manner and serving the interest of all their constituents equally, and not just those that have voted for them. From the opposition we will continue to deliver our message that Zambians deserves better from their Government and that change is well within our reach in 2016.
As the UPND has rehearsed time and time again we believe the staggering and unprecedented amount of by-elections held under the PF Government has been a colossal waster of money that could be better spent on much needed investments into our health and education systems. It has also taken up a large amount of Government time and attention when they should be focused on addressing the plight of the people and not campaigning here, there and everywhere. Our position remains that by improving the credibility of the electoral process and introducing the new constitution we can avoid the need for so many by-election and thereby avoid this waste.
We must now all work together to ensure free and fair tripartite elections in 2016. We are please to note that President Lungu has acquiesced to our demand for the nomination of a new Chairperson for the ECZ. We must now turn our attention to scrutiny of the nomination, the upcoming voter registration exercise, and working with the ECZ to ensure problems presented by past elections are address, so that a level playing field and a transparent process for 2016 is ensured.