Shakafuswa returns to parliament

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The opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) has reclaimed the Katuba parliamentary seat nearly eight years after losing it to the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) in the 2006 general elections.

Winning candidate Jonas Shakafuswa, who was MMD Member of Parliament for Katuba from 2006 to 2011, was declared winner at around 10:20 hours today at Muwanjuni totalling centre in Katuba constituency by Electoral Commission of Zambia Returning Officer Mutandi Mwanamwalye.

Mr. Shakafuswa, who left MMD in 2011 to rejoin UPND which he had represented in parliament as Katuba MP between 2001 and 2006, poured 4, 781 while his closet rival Moses Chilando of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) poured 2,747 votes.

Former ruling party, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) candidate Cecil Holmes was third with 734, while National Restoration Party (NAREP) candidate Joseph Mushalika was fourth after polling 566 votes.

In the fifth place was Alliance for Better Zambia’s (ABZ) Patricia Mwashingwele who got 393 votes, United National Independence Party (UNIP) candidate Friday Malawo was in the sixth place with 124 votes.

The National Revolution Party (NRP) candidate Shakespeare Mwakamui trailed behind all six candidates with 23 votes.

Returning Officer Mr. Mwanamwalye said a total of 9,481 were cast out of over 28,903 registered voters while 113 votes were rejected.

Speaking to journalists shortly after being declared winner, Mr. Shakafuswa thanked the electorate for voting for him.

He also said he will consult with the electorate on the priority areas of development.

Meanwhile, business came to a standstill and traffic flow disrupted at 10 miles near Mungule turn-off in Katuba Constituency when scores of UPND cadres blocked the Great North road celebrating the victory in yesterday’s Katuba parliamentary by-elections.

The Katuba seat fell vacant following the death of area MMD Member of Parliament (MP) Patrick Chikusu who was also Deputy Minister of Health.

The seat was being contested by seven political parties.