UPND chairperson for elections Gary Nkombo says it is wishful thinking for the PF to think that they are gaining ground in Western Province because people in the area cannot vote for tricksters.

Last Tuesday, PF secretary general Davies Mwila claimed that Western Province was no longer the UPND’s stronghold based on the PF’s strong electoral performances following its surge in popularity in the area, and closely-fought Kaoma Council Chairperson by-election earlier this month.

But in an interview, Nkombo, who is also Mazabuka Central UPND member of parliament, argued that it was wishful thinking for Mwila to claim Western Province was no longer the UPND’s stronghold because voters in the area were not likely to swing to the ruling party on account of the suffering they had endured.

He observed that the PF had caused a lot of pain in Western Province in failing to deliver development in the area, which was reason enough for people not to vote for the ruling party.

“It is wishful thinking for them to think that they are penetrating. They are trying their best to penetrate into all areas and so are we. We are also busy extremely busy in areas we are perceived to be weak. The issue of foretelling what will happen in the future is really the preserve of God and not any human being,” Nkombo said.

“So, the amount of pain that they have caused, especially in Western Province in terms of poverty, in terms of not delivering development in that province, is reason enough for the people of that area not to give the PF a single vote.”

He insisted that ruling party officials ought to speak with empirical evidence in claiming that they were gaining inroads in Western Province.

“I think people must speak with empirical evidence. The evidence that we have so far is that we have regained our ground arising from the election of honourable Putu. If we had an election today in Mangango, I can assure you that PF would lose!” Nkombo argued.

“Even now, they just managed to get one MP in Mangango, but you can also double-check the result of Kaoma by elections of the mayor, which is reflective of the true situation now. Even areas where we lost during the 2018 by-election that saw honorable Goodwin Putu come in, [but] this time around, the tables have turned.”

And Nkombo accused the PF of failing to develop Mangango constituency as promised during last year’s by-election campaign.

“They (PF) lied to the people of Mangango! At the time of the election, they were busy trying to scrape around the Katunda-Lukulu road; putting graders and compactors as if they were fixing the road; when the elections ended, they vacated! They went to Sesheke to do the same, but the people of Sesheke gave them a red card because the knew that they were using tricks. So, it is wishful thinking that they are penetrating Western Province,” said Nkombo.