Lukulu By-Elections May Not Be Fair, Opposition Says

Sakwiba SikotaUnited Liberal Party (ULP) President Sakwiba Sikota has said Tuesday’s parliamentary by-elections in Lukulu West and Kapiri Mposhi may not be free and fair.

And MMD President Nevers Mumba has said Zambians must ask themselves why the PF was winning elections even in areas where they are not popular.

Mr Sikota said the polls may not be free and fair because of electoral malpractices being perpetuated by the Patrotic Front (PF) during the political campaigns.

He said in Lusaka via a telephone interview that PF members were using government vehicles, while intimidating both the electorate and potential voters.

“We have to look at the things currently going on in Lukulu West and Kapiri Mposhiwhere the ruling party has been breaching the electoral code of conduct with impunity. It is a foregone conclusion that these elections will not be free and fair,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Mumba of the MMD has said the Electoral Commission of Zambia needs to be overhauled.

He said the electoral body was defective in its current and it had become obvious that PF was using it to win the streak of parliamentary by-elections that are being created.

“The Electoral Commission of Zambia needs to be tough and fair to all the people participating in elections, but it is surprising that PF members were committing electoral laws and yet they were going without being charged,” said Mumba.

He said he did not regret the MMD not participating in the Kapiri Mposhi and Lukulu West parliamentary polls because his party was strategizing and preparing for the future.

Dr Mumba said Zambians must scrutinize their minds as to why the PF was winning parliamentary by-elections with large margins even in areas where they were clearly unpopular.

“It is time for the Patrotic Front to shine and let them continue with the winning formula that they have but the people of Zambia must ask themselves why the ruling party is winning all the elections. It is not a sign of popularity,” he said.

The ruling PF, United Party for National Development (UPND) and United Independence Party (UNIP) are contesting the Kapiri Mposhi seat while the PF and UPND are fighting for Lukulu West constituency.

Campaigning in the two constituencies ended on Sunday in accordance with the new Electoral Commission of Zambia regulation for political parties to stop campaign activities 48 hours before an election.

Recently, there was violence during the political campaigns in the by-election, which was scooped by the PF, but the UPND has petitioned the results citing violence, bribery and intimidation from the ruling party.

During the political violence in Livingstne, a PF district official from Monze in Southern province was lynched by fellow party members over campaign funds, but the police arrested and detained several UPND members including party president Hakainde Hichilema.

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