Apathy mars Kasenengwa/Vubwi elections

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-Voting has closed in the Vubwi and Kasenengwa Parliamentary by-elections with both constituencies recording a poor turnout of voters.

Only 420 out of 1,036 voters had cast their votes when Presiding Officer Anderson Mbewe declared the close of the polling station at Vubwi School at 18:00 hours this evening.

ZANIS reports that however no incident has been reported from the time voting started at 06:00 hours to 18 :00 hours when the polling stations were closed.

A check by ZANIS at the Teacher’s Resource Center which is the totaling center in Vubwi found few people awaiting the totaling of the votes as they had not yet started arriving from the various polling stations.

Provincial Local Government Officer Mcloud Nyirenda explained that ECZ officers were still counting the votes at the polling stations.

And Eastern Province Police Deputy Commissioner Hudson Namachila has described the Vubwi Parliamentary by-election as peaceful and incident free.

Mr Namachila commended all the five political parties participating in the polls for staying calm and stressed the need to continue being peaceful even after counting of the ballots is completed.

Vubwi constituency has a total number of 18,084 registered voters.

The Vubwi Parliamentary seat fell vacant following the nullification of the election of MMDs Eustarckio Kazonga by the Supreme court for electoral malpractice in the 2011 general elections.

Five candidates are participating in the Vubwi parliamentary by-election and these are Margaret Miti of the ruling PF, Alfonso Phiri of the UPND, Charles Nyoka of the FDD and Lucas Phiri of UNIP.

Dr. Kazonga is re-contesting the seat on the MMD ticket.

And in Kasenengwa, only 225 people out of 654 had voted when Presiding Officer Freda Ngoma announced the close of the polls at Chile Polling station in Kwenje ward.

Meanwhile, people from different political parties, election observers and Non-Government Organizations have started arriving at Chipata Civic Centre which is the totaling center for the Kasenengwa parliamentary by-election.

The counting of votes at the totaling center is expected to start later this evening.

Kasenengwa constituency which has six wards has 41,795 registered voters.

Four candidates are contesting the Kasenengwa parliamentary seat which fell vacant after the nullification of Victoria Kalima of MMD as area MP due to electoral malpractices.

The seat is being contested by Gideon Zulu of the ruling PF, Khumbiza Daka of UNIP, Timothy Nyirenda of the UPND and Victoria Kalima who is re-contesting on the MMD ticket.