The stampede around the Mandevu Parliamentary seat is perhaps only rivalled by the huge population base the constituency hosts. Mandevu boasts a huge population touching base with some of the most crowded townships such as Marapodi, Chaisa, Mandevu, Garden, Kabanana, Chazanga and Chipata Compound, in the capital city. In election time, densely populated areas make for gold mines in terms of votes. It is no wonder eight candidates have offered to be MP for Mandevu. In fact, this is a constituency with the highest registered number of voters in the country at 148, 889 total in the 2016 register. It has more male voters at 81,523 than women voters at 67, 366. The Patriotic Front is in firm control of the constituency with its candidate Jean Kapata destined for a comfortable victory on August 11. Here is a look at how they stand.
JEAN KAPATA (PF)
The undisputed queen of Mandevu has held the seat from 2006, taking over from Patricia Nawa who held it under the Forum for Democracy and Development ticket. Since then Kapata has commandingly held the Mandevu seat and hardly gives the impression of someone about to exit the stage. For all her commanding stance, Kapata still deals with voices of dissent over the challenge of delivering social services in a densely populated constituency with issues of security, sanitation and health still a challenge in Chazanga, Mandevu and Kabanana areas. So hard is the challenge that even the steps made like rebuilding a police post in Garden Township still meets resistance. It is one of those constituencies that are hard to hold together given its vastness and diversity. Feelers of the ground still point to Kapata still having the edge with the ground still fertile with PF support.
JIMMY DONS (UPND)
The former deputy mayor of Lusaka has waited in the wings for a long time to have a go at the Member of Parliament portfolio. A long serving councillor from 2001 on the UPND ticket and with a respectable following notably in Garden Compound, Dons may not be one to be easily brushed aside. He knows the ins and outs of the Lusaka voting constituency and will sure not be a pushover. His achilless heel maybe the strength to dismantle the traditional PF support base that has a huge following in Mandevu Constituency.
ADRIAN PIERS (UDF)
Piers’ candidature poses a curious challenge, given that his party is in an alliance with the UPND but will have to face off in the election. He also has a remote claim to the ruling party vote having been a PF member before Miles Sampa jumped ship to form the UDF. Overall it is a candidature that may just serve to confuse the electorates but democratically the candidate may have exercised their right.
Mary Phiri (MMD)
Wezzy Muswema (Rainbow)
Ross Kasikili (NAREP)
Engiwe Mzyeche (UNIP)
Sonile Hamahwa (FDD)