——All the six candidates for the Mkushi North Constituency by-elections have expressed confidence on their chances of scooping the seat.
The Six candidates, representing five political parties and one independent, made their statements to ZANIS after filing in their nomination papers to contest the July 25 by-election.
Ingrid Mpande of the PF stated that she would win the elections as her party was riding on a momentum of victories from other Parliamentary by-elections.
Mrs Mpande said she had plans to champion the development of remote parts of the district if she was elected, explaining that this objective involved improving services such as access to clean and safe water.
She also mentioned that her party had put in place interventions such as empowerment funds that aimed at improving the plight of women and youths, adding that she had plans to ensure that these interventions benefit the remote communities.
Mrs Mpande said she had no doubts about victory for the by-election, saying residents were keen to have a Member of Parliament (MP) from the ruling party.
Mrs Mpande is contesting the elections for the second time as she had also stood on PF ticket during the September 2011 general elections.
Former Kabwe District Commissioner (DC), Jonathan Kapungwe, who is Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) candidate, also singled out service provision for remote communities as being amongst his priorities.
Mr Kapungwe said he aimed at using his experience in district administration to avail and raise the standard of services such as health, education and water supply to remote communities.
He added that he planned to champion the development of infrastructural projects such as feeder roads as well as recreation facilities for the youths.
The former DC also said he had plans to consolidate sustained competition platforms for sports activities, explaining that such a move would lead to the district being a major pool of sports talent.
The United Party for National Development (UPND) is being represented by Winter Libbohole who said he aimed to prioritise the plight of farmers if he is elected.
Mr Libbohole, who is a businessman, observed that agriculture was the most widespread livelihood activity in the constituency, adding that he had plans to champion measures and interventions that would benefit farmers of all scale.
He said his other area of priority were youths as well as the aged, saying that these sectors of society deserved more consideration.
Mr Libbohole said his overall objective was to use Parliament as a platform for efforts that would propel Mkushi into medium income status.
Benard Nshimbi of UNIP pointed out that his main focus would be directed towards efforts that promote human resource development.
Mr Nshimbi observed that all endeavours depended on the well being of human resource, explaining that education was pivotal in this regard.
He said strengthening the base for human resource involved increasing the availability of schools, and complementing this effort with more centres for health services.
A retired education academician, Mr Nshimbi said the success of other endeavours, such as agriculture, commerce and industry depended much on the competence and well being of human resource.
Albert Kawawya of the National Restoration Party (NAREP), cited agriculture, youth and women empowerment as being amongst the issues that he planned to champion if elected as MP.
Mr Kawaya, who is a farmer, stressed that his party had the chance to win this seat, saying that NAREP was hoping to appeal most to residents who wanted change.
He expressed confidence that the interim NAREP structures that were on the ground would succeed in transforming his party into a major force as well as victory for the July 25 by-elections.
And independent candidate, Felix Chisanga, expressed confidence on his chances of winning, saying he was genuinely the people’s choice as it was the residents who had persuaded him to stand.
Mr Chisanga, who is a businessman, observed that he had every chance of winning the elections, adding that residents from various parts of the constituency had prompted him to contest the elections.