PF deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri says Mazabuka UPND member of parliament Gary Nkombo’s allegations that a returning officer in the Sesheke by-elections had a meeting with State House officials are false.

At a media briefing yesterday, Phiri said Nkombo’s allegations were part of UPND’s usual tricks to tarnish the ruling party’s image after realising that the opposition was losing an election.

“I am sure as the media you have heard that the Patriotic Front has been accused of meeting some electoral officers by the people from State House. But we would like to refute those reports because as usual, our colleagues in the UPND, they have a way of tarnishing people’s images when they realise that they are losing, especially in an election. The UPND has been on record, claiming to have won the 2016 elections even before we went for elections. We heard the threats which were coming from them that if they didn’t win the elections, there was going to be havoc in this country. And we saw things happening in their strongholds after the 2016 elections, where those with names from Northern and Eastern Provinces were displaced, their businesses were destroyed and some of them their houses were burnt. Even civil servants were affected by that,” Phiri said.

“We all have history of how our colleagues from the UPND behave when they realise that they are losing an election. If we go back to the Mufumbwe by-elections, by then the ruling party was MMD and the UPND candidate at that time was Ambassador Mulwondwe Muzungu. When the UPND realised that they were loosing that election, there was a big fight and if you remember that was the time when the UPND spokesperson honourable Charles Kakoma was literary undressed, he came out naked…We saw the worst part of it were three children who were not even in the voting age were hit by the candidate’s son’s vehicle and they were killed. That was the birth of also the Mapatizya formular…So in these [upcoming] by-elections they (UPND) were expecting that will win but have realised that they are losing. So what Mr Garry Nkombo is saying is not true because by law, in this country, every politician is entitled to go to the Electoral Commission and buy voter registers so that you know how many people you have, be it in a ward or in a constituency who are eligible to vote, it’s allowed. So that is just a way of tarnishing the image of the PF.

Phiri said it was unfortunate that educated men like Nkombo had resorted to telling lies just for political gain.

“It’s so shameful to have men, because we know that lying is associated to women, but now we are seeing educated men lying.

Asked about the party’s position over Minister of Infrastructure Ronald Chitotela’s, Phiri said the minister was innocent until proven guilty.

“What has happened to honourable Chitotela is not new. These things happen and by our laws of Zambia, everybody is innocent until proven guilty. Honourable Chitotela is going to appear in the courts of law. So let’s wait and see what the courts determine but as far as we are concerned, he’s innocent until proven guilty,” said Phiri.