Livingstone loss minor setback—UPND
Livingstone, March 15, 2013, ZANIS…The opposition United Party for National Development
(UPND) in Livingstone says the loss it has suffered in the Livingstone parliamentary
by-election is a minor setback .
The opposition party says the setback will not stop it from
fighting alleged undemocratic tendencies by the ruling Patriotic Front
And the UNPD members in Livingstone say they will support the move by
the party to petition the Livingstone by-election results which saw
the PF candidate emerge victorious.
In an interview with ZANIS in Livingstone today, UPND Livingstone spokesperson
Neto Halwabala said the loss was just a minor setback which he attributed to
violence allegedly perpetrated by the ruling PF whose candidate Lawrence Evans scooped the seat with 10,173
votes against his closest rival Regina Musokotwane of the UPND who got 7,805 votes.
Mr Halwabala said the fact that the run up to the elections was characterized
by political violence forced many voters to stay away contributing to
high voter apathy witnessed in the polls.
He also explained that the arrests of the president Hakainde
Hichilema and other senior UPND officials and attempts to frame the
party over the deaths of two PF cadres also contributed to the loss of
Mr Halwabala further said heavy police presence in the city which was seen as
intimidation by the electorates forced many to stay away from voting.
“Losing this seat is just a minor setback which will not stop us from
fighting injustices and other undemocratic tendencies by this
government,” said Mr. Halwabala.
“Our voters were also forced to stay way due to fear of been intimated
by heavy police presence and the arrests of Mr. Hichilema and other
party officials a few weeks ago also instilled fear among most of our
sympathisers,” said Mr. Halwabala.
Mr. Halwabala further said much as the UPND wanted to be in power, its
main concern now was to ensure that the PF government
uplift good democratic tenets and deliver promises it made to the
people of Zambia.
He said UPND was worried at a number of issues such as the numerous
by-elections the PF was creating at a great cost to the country and
the alleged breakdown of law and order.
“Much as we want to form government, our main worry at the moment is
numerous wanton creation of by-elections at a high cost to government,
and the break-down of law which is now characterized by police
brutality,” Mr. Halwabala said.
Meanwhile, UNPD members in Livingstone say they will support the move
by the party to petition the constituency by-election results which
saw the PF candidate emerge victorious.
Mr. Halwabala said it was clear that the polls were not free and fair
because the elections were marred by political violence.
And Mr. Halwabala said UPND has performed better without being in a
pact with the Movement for Multi-party democracy (MMD) during
the March 14 polls.
The UPND spokesperson thanked the people of Livingstone who he said
even after the violence and intimidation managed to vote for the
The PF won the elections after its candidate Lawrence Evans polled
10,173, followed by UPND’S Regina Musokotwane with 7,805, MMD’s Fred
Siasutwe got 1,579, and UNIP’s Green Mwanagombe trailed last with a
paltry 67 votes.