KABWATA PF candidate Clement Tembo says he will soon come out of hiding to continue with his campaigns for the by-elections, stressing that he had to protect his life.

But Kabwata UPND aspiring candidate Andrew Tayengwa says Tembo is just being a cry baby because he knows that he will lose by a large margin.

In an interview, Tembo said he was ready for the by-election. .

“It is a welcome idea that the dates are now set because it is long overdue. We have been ready for quite some time. We want to get over it and see that the people of Kabwata constituency have an MP to represent them. It is very true that I am in hiding. There is no guarantee of our safety but have always been in the hands of God. We shall see how it goes and we hope that we can successfully do those campaigns as it were. We are not living in colonial days and we just hope that our brothers and sisters in the UPND will be able to understand that there is need to be space for everyone to participate effectively,” said Tembo.

“You cannot start hunting down you opponents as it were. The UPND should know better. What is just important is for me to keep my life at ease. People should never lose their lives just because of elections. It is a democratic dispensation and let people participate effectively and freely. I will be coming out to participate, just know that I will be coming. There is nothing I can do if we are living in a regime that is oppressing people. We just have to face it.”

But Tayengwa said his opponent was just being a cry baby.

“When you have dark spots or some grey areas in your life and you know that you could have committed some other things that would require law enforcement agencies to pounce on you, I am not insinuating that he has got some cases. The issue to say UPND is not giving a level playing field that is not true. In the past he was campaigning freely and going around the constituency so what has changed now? Nothing has changed because we are still in the same campaign period. The election was only cancelled days ago and they have given us a new date. So nothing has changed,” Tayengwa said.

“These are just the signs of one showing that he is going to be defeated. Otherwise there is nothing like the UPND is not giving level playing field for others. We were all given calenders on when to do our campaigns so let him not be a cry baby and let him just face these elections. We are about eight competitors so let us just continue doing campaigns once they allow us and we are free. Let him not start crying now before the election is even held. For him to start crying now shows that he is already saying someone is going to have a runaway margin which is of course the UPND candidate.”

He insisted that he was a very popular candidate.

“They have given us the dates. Filing in is in the 19th if January and elections will be held on the 3rd of February. I have always been ready for any election in Kabwata constituency as way back as 2011. I did my ground work and I know my strengths in Kabwata constituency. I am not a new person. Others wanted to call me a weak candidate. I do not know the reason why they wanted to label me like that,” said Tayengwa.

“Maybe they know my strengths so they wanted to demonise me so that they can have it easy when I am not there. I can assure you that Tayengwa will be on the ballot paper and come 3rd of February, you will see UPND scooping Kabwata constituency with a wide margin not only because of the party’s popularity but also the candidate’s popularity. So the candidate is riding on the party that is popular and the candidate himself is also very popular on the ground.”

The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) set February 3, 2022 as the date to hold the Kabwata Parliamentary by-election, stating that the fresh nominations for the by-election would be held on January 19, 2022.