The opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) is comfortably leading in the Katuba parliamentary by-election with over 1,700 votes ahead of the Patriotic Front (PF).
Preliminary results show that UPND candidate, Jonas Shakafuswa has so far garnered 4,327 against his closest rival Moses Chilando of the ruling PF who has so far polled 2,546 votes from 29 polling stations out of a total of 32 polling stations in the constituency.
The former ruling party, Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD, has failed to defend the seat as its candidate, Cecil Holmes is in the third position with 653 votes.
The MMD had won the seat through the late Patrick Chikusu in 2011.
Dr. Chikusu was appointed deputy minister of Health in the PF government but died in December 2013 thereby rendering the Katuba seat vacant.
In the fourth position, there is Joseph Mushalika of the National Restoration Party (NAREP) who has 556 votes, Alliance for Better Zambia’s (ABZ) Patricia Mwashingwele is fifth with 384 votes and United National Independence Party’s (UNIP) Friday Malawo is on the sixth position with 117 votes while Shakespeare Mwakamui of the National Revolution Party (NRP) is at the rear with a paltry 18 votes.
However official results representing all the 32 polling stations have not yet been announced as those from Namayani, Mbosha and Kanwanjiba polling stations are still being awaited.
The results from the three polling stations have to be airlifted since these places are not accessible by road in the rain season.
Meanwhile, scores of UPND supporters sung songs of jubilation outside Mwanjuni totalling centre throughout the night while awaiting results from the remaining polling stations.
Katuba constituency has about 28,903 registered voters.
In the 2011 election, Dr. Chikusu of the MMD won the seat with 6,389 votes while Mr. Shakafuswa of UPND had polled 3,531, the PF had then fielded Susana Mwelwa who got 1,622 votes while an independent candidate Derrick Chaikana got 2, 083 votes.