Feira: Parties make last ditch efforts

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o.zm” class=”f”>Zambia Daily Mail by Online Editor on 6/19/13

POLITICAL parties yesterday made last ditch efforts to woo the 11,248 registered voters in Feira ahead of today’s parliamentary by-election triggered by the defection of Patrick Ngoma from the MMD to the ruling PF.
And Luangwa district electoral officer Peter Nguluwe said everything is set for the by-election in which the other contenders are Samuel Sikaonga of the National Restoration Party (Narep), Eularia Zulu (UPND), Charles Kanyanga, United National Independence Party (Unip), and Elias Phiri (MMD).
Mr Nguluwe said a higher turn-out of voters is expected in the by-election as massive voter education has been carried out in all the wards in the constituency.
The major campaign issue in Luangwa is good roads which locals have been looking forward to for a long time. The Luangwa-Feira road is under construction.
The other issues are being connected to the national grid and improving television and radio reception, according to locals.
Luangwa residents also want the district hospital which is under construction to be completed as soon as possible.
The district electoral office has received complaints from almost all the political parties which have been dealt with by the district conflict management committee.
Meanwhile, PF Feira campaign manager Edgar Lungu said his party is confident of winning the seat with a margin of about 90 percent as the other parties have nothing to offer.
“If 10 people vote, we will get nine voters while the other parties will share the other one. We’ve read the political mood carefully… UPND has lost ground countrywide… they will never rule the country.
“UNIP is dead and the MMD is also dying. That is why [Patrick] Ngoma has joined us. He doesn’t want to work with people who are moribund,” he said.
Mr Lungu, who is also Minister of Home Affairs, accused the opposition of being “very provocative during the campaign” and always wanting to incite violence but the PF has refrained from confronting them.
Earlier yesterday, PF cadres reported that UPND cadres intended to attack them and asked the minister if they could go after their rivals but Mr Lungu advised them to avoid any provocation as they had already won the by-election.
And during its last rally, MMD president Nevers Mumba accused the PF of making promises which have not been fulfilled.
He said it is wrong to claim that development can only come from the ruling party as resources for development do not come from State House but from Parliament which approves the budget.
“They’re claiming that they started road construction on the Luangwa-Feira road when it is actually the MMD who allocated the funds.
“If you elect an opposition MP, the road project will still continue,” he said.
By press time, the UPND were also scheduled to have their last campaign meeting at Wiper Grounds, the same venue where the MMD had theirs in the morning.