WESTERN Province Minister Kapelwa Mbangweta says UPND is confident of winning the Mongu Mayoral by-election because the party has achieved a number of things since assuming office.

In an interview, Mbangweta said the UPND government had, in the past six months, managed to revive a number of sectors.

“We think we will carry the day, we have a popular candidate who is appealing to the people. The people in Western Province have been marginalized for a long time and have seen the value which has been brought by the new dawn government. They have seen the free education which has come, they have seen the attention which this government is paying to the marginalization which happened in the past. The PF government had taken a loan from the World Bank, built schools in their places and left out Western Province, Southern Province and Northern Western. A loan is paid back by all Zambians, so on that basis, Western Province is going to build 22 secondary schools. So that is something which the people of Western Province can catch,” he said.

“The Farmer Input Support Programme was very discriminatory, Western Province was the least in terms of access. So quite clearly, productivity under the PF could not go up, because there was suppression of access to government programmes. This government within six months has reformed FISP, in other words, the whole country, everybody will have similar access to the number of bags. The other direct benefit which they can also see is that this government has started fixing the bridge at the Kafue National Park. That bridge was going to kill a lot of people. This government has started working on the Shang’ombo road, graveling it. So those are programmes which can be seen, can be touched and not be argued. The highest number of people who were being retired in national interest was coming from Western Province.”

He said his party had no stiff competition.

“We come to the big one, the CDF. The PF had failed to even give CDF for K1.6 million per year in all these constituencies and where they were giving it was even discriminatory. So on the basis of all those things, the people here will vote for the UPND and most importantly that [the previous] government had neglected even to do the road going to the Royal Palace. We have started fixing that road, people can see. So there is no issue of competition, it is just a natural thing that people will come and vote for us on the basis of a popular candidate [and] on the basis that within six months the UPND government has removed that feeling that in this country we had two sets of citizens. So surely if your child was sitting on the floor, now they are going to sit on a chair. Or [if] you were failing to take your child [to school], now your child is going to school for free. How can you vote to the contrary? It’s not possible. So there is no competition,” said Mbangetwa.

But PF chairperson for elections Remember Mutale said the former party was also confident of scooping the by-election.

“We are on course with all the preparations, that is why we managed to file in nominations. Meaning that we are ready for the campaigns. The other thing that we are waiting for is the programme from the ECZ, which we have been given, so it is campaigns now, we are campaigning now, people are on the ground. Whoever goes into an election there are only two things that we follow, it’s to win. The second thing is to convince the people about our good message and our manifesto. So at the moment we are confident,” said Mutale.