One of the positives to have come out of the January 2016 assent to the people driven constitution that the President, to his credit signed with almost his eyes closed was the tightening of the ease with which by-elections occurred between general elections.
It was almost embarrassingly routine for Members of Parliament to cross affiliations and cause by-elections that were deemed a huge drain on the state coffers. The imminent Chilanga by-election provides one of those rare cases that political parties will battle for supremacy.
The sentencing to death of Chilanga Member of Parliament Keith Mukata provided the rare circumstances for a by-election notwithstanding his appeal in the Supreme Court. It may not just an ordinary by-election given the high political stakes in the current set up.
It could be an opportunity for the Patriotic Front to claim the Chilanga seat for the first time. It has always eluded them having been previously switched handed between the MMD and the UPND.
It is not a secret why President Edgar Lungu has taken a more than cursory interest in the Chilanga seat. Not surprisingly the Chilanga victor could win some bragging rights in the political arena.
A loss for the UPND could point to their complete annihilation of the miniscule Lusaka urban base that they so desperately crave for.
For the Patriotic Front conquering Chilanga will render credence to their indisputable hold on the Lusaka mass that has remained their stronghold since 2006 and they have never let loose of that grip.
Chilanga has over the years suffered political volatility as evidenced by high turnover of Members of Parliament in the last 18 years.
Given the rare parliamentary by-election occurrence rate under the new constitution, the Chilanga seat could be more than just a political contest.
The Electoral Commission of Zambia has not yet set the date for the by-election but Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini has notified them of the vacancy.