Newly-elected Lusaka Mayor Miles Sampa should know that his party is only surviving because AVIC International have been funding their campaigns, says United Prosperous and Peaceful Zambia (UPPZ) president Charles Chanda.

And Chanda disclosed that his party would also contest in the upcoming Kasenengwa by-elections slated for September 6, saying he had been encouraged by his party’s performance in the past two elections.

PF’s Sampa had argued during a radio programme, Frank on Hot, Tuesday, that opposition political parties pocket funds given to them by donors instead of using it for their respective campaigns, while any donation given to the PF spreads down to their campaigns.

Reacting to Sampa, Chanda said it did not make sense for the Mayor to utter such words when his party was only surviving because AVIC International, the Chinese contractor, had been funding the PF’s campaigns.

“No, it’s not correct for him (Miles Sampa) to say that. The PF were funded by AVIC [International] and they still reduced their numbers. So, that doesn’t make sense. It’s not about the campaign here. We are talking about a system here; we all know that a by-election is usually won by the people that held the seat previously. So, that thing of mocking others when they [PF] are being funded by AVIC doesn’t make sense. It’s not their money, PF is not using their money. They are using money for AVIC, that’s why they are giving these people contracts so that they can be funding their elections. We don’t have funders ourselves; we fund our campaigns with our own money, which is morally right. How do you give one company all the contracts just because they are supporting you? It doesn’t make sense,” Chanda told News Diggers! in an interview.

And he said the UPPZ would participate in the upcoming Kasenengwa by-election because it was doing better than other parties in the country, including those that had existed for over ten years.

“We definitely will be contesting the Kasenengwa by-election in September. We participated in the Mayoral by-elections and we came fifth, defeating four other parties despite fielding in a youth as a mayor. So, we are getting there, and I think the message in our manifesto seems to be appealing to the general citizens. If we are able to beat parties that have been there for more that ten years when we are just a year and nine months old, then it shows that people are seeing sense in us. You know it’s not about the numbers, when you look at the mayoral by-election, all the parties that participated in 2016, they had a drop, all of them, including the Patriotic Front and for the PF it was worse,” argued Chanda.

“But for UPPZ, it is the only party, of course, maybe with NDC [National Democratic Congress] that had numbers that went up. So, that shows that even when others are decreasing, we have kept rising. In Chipangali, for instance, in one of the wards, we even beat UPND, which has been there for a while. It’s actually very positive, reason being that in terms of commitment by citizens from the way the ruling party is handling affairs. For 180,000 people who voted for them to abstain from elections shows you how many disgruntled citizens are out there. And if their own members can boycott, how much more the people that are not even their members? So, yes, the ground is fertile for a new party and I think there is feeling, people want change and this may not be argued.”