Sata congratulates MMD on victory

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PRESIDENT Sata has congratulated the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) on its victory in the Mkaika constituency Parliamentary by-election.
MMD’s Peter Phiri yesterday won the poll with 9,054 votes against the Patriotic Front’s David Phiri, who got 1,712.
National Restoration Party (NAREP) candidate Nigel Mpakateni managed 161 while UNIP’s Nelson Mwale finished at the bottom of the chart with only 136 votes. Spoilt ballots were 242.
Mr Sata said the people of Mkaika Constituency have exercised their democratic right and made their choice of who should represent them in Parliament.
This is according to a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday by special assistant to the President for press and public relations George Chellah.
Mr Sata warned Patriotic Front (PF) members of Parliament that they risk losing elections if they do not keep in touch with the people and listen to their concerns.
He also advised the opposition to be as magnanimous as the PF in accepting defeat instead of always crying foul and unfairly scandalising the country’s electoral process each time they lose elections.
“This time, it is the PF which has lost the election and we congratulate our colleagues in the MMD. We hope they will do the same in future elections when they lose,” he said.
President Sata reaffirmed the PF’s commitment to democracy and free, fair and credible elections.
From Katete, CHIMWEMWE MWALE reports that Minister of Defence Geoffrey Mwamba says the PF will continue to engage the people of Eastern Province despite losing the Mkaika by-election.
Mr Mwamba, who was the PF campaign manager, said the party understands that former ruling parties UNIP and MMD had formed strongholds in the province.
He said yesterday that the PF government would continue with all development projects in the province.
“When I was there [during campaigns in Mkaika], all seemed well but our colleagues seemingly still have loyalty to the MMD… this is historical… It happened when the MMD was trying to break through after assuming power.
“We are a national party and we want to embrace everyone in all the provinces but it’s a pity that those are the results. Soon, they will realise that the PF means well,” he said.
Meanwhile, DOREEN NAWA reports from Katete that Mkaika Constituency returning officer Kapauka Nyirenda yesterday declared the MMD candidate, Peter Phiri, as the duly-elected member of Parliament for Mkaika Constituency.
“I declare Peter Phiri as duly-elected MP for Mkaika Constituency,” Mr Nyirenda said amid ululation and jubilation from MMD cadres.
The Mkaika by-election was caused by the defection of David Phiri from the MMD to the ruling PF.
Speaking shortly after being declared winner, Mr Peter Phiri said he would ensure that his promises bear fruit.
“I am very humbled and I thank the people of Mkaika for the confidence they have shown in me. I will ensure that we develop this constituency together,” Mr Phiri said.
And MMD president Nevers Mumba thanked the people of Mkaika for their confidence in the MMD.
Dr Mumba said the victory was a lesson for the PF that Zambians are impatient with the ruling party and that the MMD is reclaiming its place.
“We are ready for a comeback and this is testimony enough… The people have seen that MMD is development-oriented,” Dr Mumba said.
Political parties which participated in the Mkaika by-election have conceded defeat, saying the MMD victory is the will of the people of Katete.
Home Affairs deputy minister Steven Kampyongo said the people of Katete had spoken.
And Mr Mpakateni of NAREP congratulated the winner of the Mkaika by-election.
Mr Mwale of UNIP conceded defeat and congratulated Mr Phiri, urging him to focus on development.
“Politics of insults and violence is not what the people want. They are expecting service delivery, not insults. Mr Phiri should concentrate on developing the constituency,” Mr Mwale said.