Thursday, November 8, 2012

Mufumbwe goes to polls

POLITICAL parties participating in today’s Mufumbwe by-election in North-Western Province have declared themselves set to win the seat after a passionate period of campaigns.

Located in unexploited mineral rich area Mufumbwe has a population of 55, 000 of which 27, 027 are registered voters coming from 16 wards. Three political parties participating being the ruling Patriotic Front (PF), MMD and UNIP did their homework and expect the voters trooping to the 40 polling stations to give them the mandate.

The United Party for National Development (UPND) opted not to divide votes for the opposition instead intelligently chose to support the MMD the immediate past ruling party.

The PF has fielded Steven Masumba who resigned from MMD to join PF; MMD has floated Stafford Mulusa while Steven Kamwengo is on the UNIP ticket. All the candidates when introduced to the electorate early this week at final rallies held at Mufumbwe Central bubbled with confidence, but it is today that the electorate will choose a representative to parliament.

The seat fell vacant after Mr Masumba was expelled by the MMD and immediately joined the PF which adopted him to re-contest the seat.

District electoral officer, Aongola Wamulume said all was set for the by election. One aspect worth mentioning is that the PF and MMD accused each other of provocation at some instances but violence did not happen as the case was in past elections in the area.

PF campaign manager, Jean Kapata said there was no reason for the ruling party to lose the election because it had done its home work.

“We have been to all the 16 wards and the response we got gives us confidence that we are winning the seat. The opposition should say bye to the seat,” Ms Kapata said.

Ms Kapata said the ruling party counselled the cadres to restrain themselves from provocation.

Her MMD counterpart, Newton Samakai echoed similar sentiments of being ready for the polls and was optimistic of scooping the seat.

“We are extremely ready because we planned for this by-election way back. I don’t see us losing, we have already secured it,” he said.

Mr Samakai said the major advantage the former ruling party had was that its candidate was morally upright.

He said Mr Mulusa’s integrity was the main weapon that gave the MMD an absolute advantage.

UNIP vice-president, Njekwa Anamela equally felt Mr Kamwengo would carry the day because he was quality material for Parliament unlike the other candidates, Mr Anamela said the electorate had all the reasons to vote for Mr Kamwengo because he was the right man to represent them in Parliament and take the much needed development to the area.

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