UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma says the party is elated that despite countless attempts to bribe voters in Katuba, the ruling Patriotic Front has suffered an embarrassing loss.
And Kakoma says the Lubwa ward results show that UPND is a much better organized party on the ground than other opposition contenders.
The PF scooped all the local government by-elections which werte held on Tuesday, but lost the Katuba parliamentary constituency by-election.
In an Interview, Kakoma said despite losing the ward elections, retaining the Katuba seat was a plus for the UPND.
“What we are happy about is our bigger victory in Katuba where the PF government spent so much money bribing people and distributing meat, and the people still voted for us; that is the spirit we would like to encourage Zambians. It is a sweet victory that we have retained our seat and it’s paining them so much, the whole PF camp is quiet,” Kakoma celebrated.
And Kakoma said the Lubwa ward results, where his party emerged second, showed that UPND was a much better organized party on the ground than other opposition contenders.
“In Western Province, there was not so much of an issue in the alliance, but of course, there was an issue in Lubwa Ward in Kitwe. And, obviously, we had a better assessment on the ground that we would have done better if other alliance partners supported us to field a candidate on the UPND ticket. The results have shown that we are better organized on the ground,” he said.
“We have learnt our lesson and we hope to continue cooperating and that probably to help us going forward even when it comes to the electoral pact, it will give us a better idea of what is happening on the ground so that even when we share wards or constituencies, there will be less arguments. And it is a trend that some of the parliamentary by-elections, currently, the ruling party is losing and that is the signal that people have lost confidence in the PF and come 2021, they are going to lose badly.”
Asked whether the UPND was losing its grip in Western Province, Kakoma said the ruling party would lose in that area in a general election.
“Well, it doesn’t worry us very much because the whole government system was there and concentrated on one ward, fighting us! I think that that won’t be the same result in the general election, we are still going to regain that ward. They spent so much government resources on winning one ward,” said Kakoma.
The UPND’s candidate, Bampi Kapalasa scooped Katuba by polling 8,727 votes, beating their closest rival, PF’s Zax Mwachilele who got 7,024, while the UPPZ’s Bertha Mangeya garnered just 120, according to a final tabulation of the results compiled by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).
On the other hand, the ruling party’s candidate in the Lubwa Ward by-election in Kitwe, Julius Kaunda, got 1,215 votes outmaneuvering his NDC and UPND rivals, Jonathan Banda and Brian Mwewa, who garnered 213 and 510 votes, respectively.
The PF’s candidate in the Lwingishi Ward by-election in Mansa District, Chanda Chimba, equally emerged triumphant and got 1,512 votes compared to the NDC’s Saviour Mulenga and UPND’s Patrick Kasongo, who garnered 148 and 104 votes, respectively.