United Party for National Development (UPND) spokesperson Charles Kakoma says his party lost the Kafue Council chairmanship by-elections because it had no money to bribe voters like PF who had a sack full of money.

And Kakoma has charged that Lusaka Province UPND Chairman Obvious Mwaliteta was arrested on poll day in order to create confusion amongst the electorate as well as give PF a chance to manipulate votes in their favor.

In an interview, Kakoma charged that the Kafue council chairman by-elections were unfair and were marred by corruption and violence because PF had transported “thugs from Lusaka’s Intercity Bus Terminus to create confusion”.

“It is clear that the PF’s strategy was to use bribery, violence, abuse of state resources and manipulate the system. The bribery was clear because this was publicly made at a rally addressed by the Republican President, Edgar Lungu, where the former Kafue District Council Chairman Thomas Zulu even said ‘it is President Lungu who has a sack of money’ and the President acknowledged that by dancing. He accepted that he had a sack of money publicly and this was captured on video. So basically Thomas Zulu was telling us that they (PF) were going to bribe people using a sack of money to win elections, and that is bribery itself,” Kakoma said

Kakoma charged that the ruling party organised the arrest of Mwaliteta in order to create an opportunity for them to rig votes.

“They cheated the nation that there was going to be a peaceful election in Kafue but on the voting day, they transported PF cadres from Lusaka to go and disturb the voters in Kafue, they transported those PF thugs from Intercity Bus Terminus to go and cause mayhem in Kafue. And they ended up provoking the people by arresting our Provincial Chairman Obvious Mwaliteta to create an opportunity to provoke the people so that they start riots, confusion and then themselves they start rigging. That’s what happened there, so that situation cannot be described as free, fair and credible atmosphere in which the elections took place,” Kakoma said.

Asked if the loss in Kafue would affect the UPND’s preparations for the 2021 elections and victory, Katuka said his party would be more alert because it was now aware of the PF tricks.

“Well, now we know their tricks. So when you are going to a battle and you the strengths and weaknesses and the tricks of your enemy, it makes you get prepared better. But we know that the tricks that they use in by-elections cannot be used in a general election because it’s very difficult. So that’s they are going to lose terribly in 2021. They will not be able to bribe each and every voter in the general elections. They will not be able to transport cadres to Kafue or to any other place in Zambia because even in Lusaka, they will need those cadres. So they will find it very difficult to bribe people in the general elections in 2021 and that is how they are going to lose,” said Kakoma.

And in a statement sent to News Diggers! later, UPND secretary general Stephen Katuka thanked the voters for the support and echoed Kakoma’s rigging allegations.

“On behalf of the United Party for National Development (UPND), I wish to thank the people of KAFUE for demonstrating their faith in the UPND under the leadership of President Hakainde Hichilema in the just ended by- election. Once again, the people of Kafue have been denied their right to choose a candidate of their choice because of PF’s violence, bribery, abuse of state resources and manipulation of the the system. It was clear when the Police started arresting UPND officials as a strategy to weaken our capacity to manage the elections that the elections were not going to be free, fair and credible,” stated Katuka.

“We cannot blame this outcome on electorates who have done their part. We blame the system; we blame the PF for instilling fear in the police ,thus making it difficult for them to stop dangerous panga wielding cadres from traveling from Lusaka to Kafue. Certainly such tricks can’t succeed in a general election and this is what will make PF pack. Lastly, we wish to call upon all well meaning Zambians not to give up as all these weaknesses being witnessed should make us come up with more complex plans to redeem the people of Zambia from the economic damage caused by Edgar Lungu and his PF.”

He asked supporters not to lose faith because “victory is coming tomorrow”.