PF deputy national mobilization chair Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba says UPND officials are just eating their leader Hakainde Hichilema’s money instead of campaigning in Chilubi.
And Presidential Affairs Minister Freedom Sikazwe says the opposition is just looking for excuses to exit the Chilubi poll because they know winning is an impossibility.
The UPND and the National Democratic Congress have threatened to pull out of the Chilubi Parliamentary by election should the Electoral Commission of Zambia fail to address the electoral related concerns they have raised.
At a joint media briefing, Friday, the two political parties gave the ECZ three days in which to address the concerns among them bribery, violence and intimidation all perpetrated by the ruling Patriotic Front to disadvantage other players.
UPND Chairperson for elections Gary Nkombo told Journalists that the ECZ despite being notified, ECZ had allowed the PF to distribute materials to the electorate among them food through the DMMU, clothing and money which amounts to vote buying.
Nkombo said the election must be postponed until a level playing field is created for all political parties to campaign.
But speaking to journalists in Chilubi, Saturday, GBM took a swipe at the UPND, saying they were not campaigning in that area, but merely eating Hichilema’s money.
“We have seen a lot of social media speculation which is not a true reflection of what is pertaining on the ground. The ground is very fertile for PF and we are on top of any other political party. As I have always said, they are only escorting us and we are enjoying massive support from people of Chilubi Island. We are very grateful to them, and I would like to thank them in advance that come February 13, we are going to take the day and with a very huge margin. So guys, let’s play it cool, let’s not create violence, let’s all just continue with our campaigns. But I haven’t met them anyway. Have you seen them anywhere? We haven’t met them. Hakainde Hichilema where ever you are, they are cheating, they are lying to you that they are here campaigning, they are not campaigning, they are just eating your money,” said GBM.
And Sikazwe said the opposition was just looking for excuses to quit the election because there was no hope for them.
“I have been here for three days and all is well. I have been to three wards and we’ve never met the UPND, even when they start propagating for violence, I feel pity on them because it is a small group. What we wouldn’t like to see in these elections is what has been happening in other provinces. For God’s sake, we don’t want that to be brought here. We’re a very peaceful grouping and we want to show our colleagues that you don’t need to be violent to win elections. We want to show them that campaigns is about selling the manifesto, telling the people what we want to do for them. They have been going around telling the people that they should not vote for us because we’ve failed but we have gone and told the people that ‘hey, where have we failed when Chilubi used to have no hospital, today they have three hospitals?’…they have seen the Chinese contractors are already on site. They are going there telling them that we are just blindfolding them but we’ve told them that the same Chinese are in Mbala, doing the Kansensha road, the same Chinese are in Mporokoso doing the Mporokoso, Nsama, Kaputa road and the same Chinese are doing the road in Kayambi. So people have heard the message and it’s showing. The signs are that it is a done deal come the 13th of February it’ll be a whitewash,” said Sikazwe.
“And I am not surprised that yesterday I was watching on TV where they are propagating that they want to pull out. It’s not pulling out, it is just conceding defeat that they have lost it, they know they are not going to win. They will be lucky even to get a quarter of the votes from here because they are not here. They have had a lot of excuses.”