PATRIOTIC Front (PF) Kitwe district chairman Kelvin Sinyangwe has said the PF loss to the UPND in the November 17 Mukuba ward local government by-election was a minor setback which the ruling party would recover from and get back to its winning ways.
And UPND Kitwe district chairman Timothy Mfula said his party was slowly making in-roads into the PF stronghold and that there was no popular candidate or party in any race until the final whistle.
Meanwhile, Anti-Voter Apathy Project (AVAP) Copperbelt coordinator Poster Jumbe has said the voter apathy in the Mukuba ward by-election was a protest by the voters who were disappointed that after being voted into office, councillors had forgotten about the campaign promises and were now fighting for their salaries.
The PF lost the Mukuba local government by-election after its candidate Gilbert Mushota polled 361 votes against 438 votes from UPND’s Glad Simukoko.
Speaking in an interview yesterday, Mr Sinyangwe said the loss was a minor setback and that the ruling party would recover and get back to its winning ways.
“Well, these things happen in politics and I can tell you that this is a minor setback. As a party, we need to recover from this minor setback and get back to work,” Mr Sinyangwe said.
But the UPND Kitwe district chairman said: “You know dynamics are changing and you can’t claim that I am strong in this area until you win that election. As UPND, we are happy with this victory and I can safely say we are making in-roads in the PF stronghold,” Mr Mfula said.
But, PF Nkana constituency chairman Malam Lungu said UPND’S victory in the Mukuba ward by-election did not in any way indicate its penetration in the PF stronghold.
“Mukuba ward is in my constituency, but the fact that UPND has won this by-election does not mean that they are penetrating our stronghold. No. We just had some minor technical failure which cost us that seat, others wise UPND is not making in-roads in our areas,’ he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Jumbe said the voter apathy in the Mukuba ward by-election was a protest by the voters who were disappointed that after being voted into office, councillors had forgotten about the campaign promises and were now fighting for their salaries.
Mr Jumbe said while monitoring the by-election, some voters came out openly that they could not go and vote for a councillor who would be busy fighting for his salary forgetting the campaign promises he made to the people. He said the electorate told him that it was clear that councillors were there to make money for themselves and so before they could even get down to work, they were demanding salaries. “During the monitoring of the just ended by-election, a lot of people told me that it made little or no sense to go and vote for a councillor who is demanding for a salary before he can even deliver. ‘‘They made it clear that they could not go and vote for a councillor who forgets about his campaign promises and concentrates on advancing his personal interests,” Mr Jumbe said.