Patriotic Front Secretary General Davies Mwila has challenged the NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili to participate in the coming Local Government by-elections without ‘chickening out’ to see which party is popular.

And PF deputy Secretary General Mumbi Phiri has warned UPND cadres who are allegedly planning to harm Antonio Mwanza to keep away.

The duo was speaking at the PF secretariat, Wednesday, after receiving 670 defectors from FDD, of which 350 where from Kanyama constituency and 320 from Munali constituency.

Mwila challenged Kambwili to participate in the Local Government by-elections to prove who was popular.

“NDC, I’m challenging ba Chishimba Kambwili. Bebafye ukwina (he shouldn’t just be fat). Elections are coming, he should participate. We are going to have about five Local Government by-elections in Western Province, two on the Copperbelt, one in Nampundwe and three in Western Province. So let him participate. Let him not chicken out. We have challenged him before over the issue of corruption that ‘can you provide evidence’, which he has failed up to now. We are ready and we will prove who is popular and who is not popular. Ba Kalaba and ba Kambwili, why they haven’t resigned is because they know that PF is the only party which is popular and attractive to the people of Zambia at the moment,” Mwila said.

“People are coming to PF because of the policies that we have put in place. Today’s politics is about putting food on the table and that’s what we are doing. We are putting up infrastructures. We made a commitment in our manifesto that we are going to maintain a single digit in the inflation, [and] that we have done. The exchange rate has stabilised and we have maintained the K9 to K10 per dollar. So all these things mean that the economy is doing fine.”

Mwila said UPND believed in violence because it never condemned its violent supporters.

“On the issue of violence, ba UPND have never condemned their people. They misplaced our people in Namwala, Sinazongwe and no one including HH, have stood up and condemned. Even the recent one in Nampundwe, no one has stood up to condemn. Since the UPND cannot condemn, its a party which believes in violence,” Mwila said.

The ruling party Chief Executive said it was a good sign that members of the opposition were defecting to PF

“2018 is the year for us to recruit new members. We want to grow the party and we are not going to leave any stone unturned. The boat is not yet full. All those who want to come, you are free to come to PF. All those who want to come to PF don’t be scared of the UPND because they know that the ground is shifting in Western province. On Sunday, the Vice-President [Inonge Wina] and the deputy SG [Mumbi Phiri] were in Mongu and they received 1,700 defectors from various political parties including the UPND. Over the weekend I’m going to Eastern province in Sinda with Antonio Mwanza. I’m going to launch the 2018 mobilization campaign and again we are going to receive more defectors. So this year, is the year for us to grow the party,” said Mwila.

“We are happy that the President has also made a commitment that he wants to tour all the provinces. This year the President doesn’t want to travel outside the country. He wants to be in the country to see for himself what is happening on the ground. Those saying that the President has started campaigning, chibakalipefye (it should pain them).”

And Mumbi warned UPND cadres not to harm Antonio Mwanza.

“Let me take this opportunity to send a strong warning to the UPND cadres who had a meeting the day before yesterday trying to harm Antonio Mwanza. Mwi lachita ngamwamona ba [Gilbert] Liswaniso, naimwe ba Chirwa nga namwikala, even us who you want to attack, we also have parents and you are also parents. We have the recording [so] if anything happens to him? Ba [Obvious] Mwaliteta lekeni. Aya ama politics fye, tekuchenana (Mwaliteta, stop what you are doing, these are just politics we are not supposed to attack each other) and no situation is permanent. Leave Antonio, he has parents, a wife and children who want him. Bushe imwe icho mwakosapo kusumya umolopa chinshi? (why do you want to spill his blood?)” Mumbi questioned.