Violence,apathy mar Katuba polls

Katuba Incidents...
Katuba Incidents...
Voting in the Katuba parliamentary by-election has closed characterized by a low voter turnout and violence.

Katuba constituency has 32 polling stations dotted around the six wards with 28,903 registered voters.

Voting in the rural constituency located north of Lusaka, however did not pass without an incident as Patriotic Front and UPND cadres clashed at Shifwankula Primary School leaving two people seriously injured.

And Northern Province Minister Freedom Sikazwe told a QFM News crew in Katuba that he was attacked by some UPND cadres and was only rescued by some PF cadres who fired two gunshots to scare the UPND cadres.

He adds that a female police officer who wanted to rescue him was also beaten by the same UPND cadres.

Mr Sikazwe explained that the cadres were posing as election agents but did not have ECZ identification and became violent when approached.

The Northern Province Minister explains that one of the security personnel from the PF had no option but to produce a gun and fired two shots for UPND cadres let go of him.

Meanwhile NAREP National Secretary Reverend Jevan Kamanga, who witnessed the clashes blamed Mr. Sikazwe who he accused of bring PF cadres from Lusaka in a convoy of four vehicles.

Rev Kamanga explains that the PF cadres who accompanied Mr. Sikazwe started harassing people at the polling station before vehicles loaded with UPND cadres emerged resulting in the clashes.

He says the confrontation only stopped when one of the PF cadres produced a gun fired shots, a situation he has described uncalled for.

And Operation Young Vote Executive Director Guess Nyirenda who was also monitoring the elections accused PF cadres of causing confusion in Katuba.

Mr Nyirenda says PF cadres drove around polling stations in a white van intimidating voters perceived to be opposition supporters.

Meanwhile the Katuba Constituency Parliamentary election has been characterized by voter apathy as most electorates shunned voting.

A check by a QFM News crew at Kabangwe polling station at about 12:35, found that only one hundred and sixteen of the one thousand one hundred and nine registered voters had voted.

Kabangwe Polling Station Presiding Officer, Henry Lwindi said he expected an improved flow of voters in the afternoon.

And a check at Mungule Polling Station at Mutakwa primary school at around the same time revealed that about two hundred voters had already voted of the six hundred and forty three registered voters.

And a check at Muwanjuni Polling Station , four hundred and twenty eight people had cast their votes of the two thousand and eighty five registered voters at about 12:30 hours.

Seven candidates are vying for the Katuba seat these are PF’s Moses Chilando, UPND’s Jonas Shakafuswa, Alliance for Better Zambia (ABZ)’s Patricia Mwashingwele and Joseph Mushalika of NAREP.

The rest of the candidates are Shakespeare Mwakamui of the National Revolution Party (NRP), UNIP’s Allan Malawo and Cecil Holmes of the MMD.

The seat fell vacant following the death of Dr Patrick Chikusu on 2nd December last year.