Chipata PF refutes claims of violence
Chipata, July 17, ZANIS —–The ruling Patriotic Front (PF) has accused the opposition of looking for excuses to justify their looming loss in the forthcoming Chipata Central Parliamentary by-election.
Responding to allegations that the PF is perpetrating violence in the constituency, PF Eastern Province Chairperson Mike Tembo said the opposition had realized that the ruling party stands better chances of winning the by-election saying they were trying to look for an excuse to justify their loss.
Mr Tembo said in an interview with ZANIS in Chipata that the PF was a clean party which has been engaging in violent free campaigns saying it had no reason to engage in violence as it had a credible candidate.
“We are going to win the Chipata central seat on merit as we are carrying out clean campaigns, and we know that the people of Chipata Central have the confidence in our candidate,” Mr Tembo said.
He stated that the PF candidate Lameck Mangani was the most preferred candidate among all the aspirants as he had a proven record among the people of Chipata central.
Mr Tembo said this was evident from the overwhelming response among residents in areas where the PF held campaign meetings.
“Though Eastern province was an MMD stronghold, we do realize that people in the province always want to work with the ruling party and they will support the party in government,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Tembo had commended government for its quick response to concerns on the shortage of coins in Chipata district.
Mr Tembo observed that the Bank of Zambia quickly made the coins available that were reported to have been in short supply after concerns from the public.
He stated that the coins were currently in abundance and that traders in the district were no longer having difficulties as the coins were readily available.
Mr Tembo observed that the opposition wanted to gain political mileage over the shortage of coins in the district.
And National Restoration Party (NAREP) parliamentary candidate Kazembe Daka charged that there were fights between the ruling PF and the MMD who he said are also engaged in tearing of campaign materials.
Mr Daka said the two political giants who were supposed to demonstrate clean politics are the ones in the forefront of practicing politics of violence.
“The two are supposed to restrain from violence so that other political parties can learn from them but they are instead perpetrating violence,” he said.
Mr Daka said there was need for all political parties to modernize the way campaigns were done, saying NAREP will continue to debate issues that can help improve the constituency.
Asked why campaign materials for NAREP were not displayed, Mr Daka said his party will today start distributing campaign materials in the constituency.
He stated that his party had minimal resources which he said were being preserved for the period when the campaigns intensify.
“Now that we have intensified the campaigns, we will start distributing the campaign materials and debate issues in a mature and modern way,” he said.
Recently, Marketeers from Saturday Market charged that suspected PF candidates threatened to burn down the market if they supported the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) in the forthcoming Chipata Central by-election.
Meanwhile, MMD Publicity Secretary Dora Siliya urged the people of Chipata central to vote for the MMD candidate Ruben Phiri.
Ms Siliya claimed that the ruling PF have failed to substantiate their allegations against the MMD in their campaigns.
Speaking on a radio Breeze programme dubbed political hour, Ms Siliya also stated that they had failed the farmers in the province.
Saturday Market Chairperson, Peter Soko, confirmed receiving a report that some masked people claiming to be PF cadres had gone to terrorize marketeers on Friday night.
Mr Soko said that he lodged a complaint with the Conflict Resolution Chairperson, Acting Town Clerk, Kate Mukonde.
And Ms Mukonde who confirmed receiving the complaint said that the conflict resolution committee had not done anything yet because the identity of the attackers was not known.
However, Ms Mukonde said more council police officers were deployed to beef up security at the market.
Both Mr Soko and Ms Mukonde confirmed that a complaint was lodged with the police on Saturday July 13.