The recent victory by Rodgers Lingweshi for the parliamentary seat in Mangango came at a significant cost, as the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) party vastly outspent the United Party for National Development (UPND), a source close to the PF tells Zambia Reports, including free giveaways such as free phone lines.
According to highly classified intelligence obtained by the source, the controversial Finance Bank Chairman Rajan Mahtani was allegedly one of the main donors to the Mangango campaign, providing some K500 million unrebased as compared to the K80 million unrebased spent by the UPND.
The source alleges that the parastatal telecommunications company Zamtel helped the ruling party buy votes by providing 1,000 households with fully connected phone lines, while Matero MP Miles Sampa provided numerous vehicles for the campaign. The Patriotic Front also quietly lifted a hunting ban and killed scores of wild animals to provide Mangango residents with game meat, while a well known Chinese road contractor provided 10,000 chitenge materials bearing the Patriotic Front’s logos, the source says.
The source says that this election was “win at all costs” for “Team A,” the cartel led by Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba, to prove to other PF members that they can win the presidency.
“If you do the math, without this spending by Mahtani, Sampa, and Zamtel, PF would have lost Mangango as the margin was less than 1,000 votes. The next round is for Team B to win now,” the source said, referring to the Alexander Chikwanda-Edgar Lungu faction in the PF for several of the upcoming Sept 11 parliamentary by-elections in Solwezi Central, Kasenengwa, Vubwi, Zambezi West and Mkushi South.
“The dilemma is that Team B doesn’t have the full support of the Mahtani, Guy Scott, or Kabimba for their campaigns. The campaign manager Jean Kapata is already complaining that Mahtani isn’t spending on Solwezi Central, and that this is the same way that PF lost Mkaika,” the source said.
After winning the Mangango election, the new MP Lingweshi has become another member supporting the cartel. According to the source, Kabimba has expanded his efforts to pay off supporters in the party, bringing in Miles Sampa, Greyford Monde, and Obvious Mwaliteta, who was responsible for the Mangango campaign.
The lavish spending and vote buying with free giveaways might not work in urban constituencies such as Solwezi, Vubwi, and Kasenengwa, the source says. Meanwhile, intelligence sources indicate that Kabimba’s camp is allegedly preparing efforts to “massively rig” elections in Zambezi West.