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We’re not here to play – Kambwili

OUR participation in Tuesday’s by-elections, less that six months after the party structures were formed, should be a warning to the big boys that we are not here to play, says Chishimba Kambwili.

PF won all nine wards in its traditional strongholds while grabbing four out of seven wards in UPND-controlled regions.

In UPND strongholds, PF scooped Kalilele ward in Mushindamo, Kanongo in Kasempa, Lealui in Mongu, and Nampundwe in Shibuyunji in Lusaka.

In its strongholds, PF won Kakoma in Mafinga, Kalebe in Shiwang’andu as well as Mikunku in Chinsali, Luapula ward in Kalulushi, Mufulira’s Kansuswa, Kawamabwa’s Ntumbachushi ward, Munwa in Mwense, Chiweza ward in Nyimba and Sinda’s Chiwuyu ward.

The NDC was coming out third after PF and UPND, beating parties that have been around long enough like Wynter Kabimba’s Rainbow.

Commenting on the just ended by-elections in which the National Democratic Congress failed to win any seat, Kambwili said in spite of lack of resources, he was encouraged by the results.

He said although his party had no money and regalia to dish out to electorates, he was happy with the response across the country.

“This was to announce our coming and warning to the big boys that NDC is here. We had no money and regalia to give out, bicycles to dish out but look at how we fared! You cannot gauge the popularity of a party through a ward election which has very few voters but it was a learning experience for the new NDC party,” Kambwili said.

Kambwili, who bemoaned the violence and vote buying in the by-election, said PF “should be ashamed of their acts”.

He urged the PF not to celebrate but worry about the coming of NDC and its impact countrywide.

“This is not a victory for PF, they should in fact get worried that NDC is here and just look at how they performed regardless of [us] losing. We had candidates in 11 of the sixteen wards, that’s not a mean achievement looking at the period the party has been in existence. It took PF a lot of time to take part in elections and let alone win after it was formed but we are moving at supersonic speed and that should worry the big boys. We ere not involved in vote buying like the PF, there was a lot of intimidation and violence in most wards so PF should not celebrate,” said Kambwili. “As we speak, one of our ward leaders is in hospital after he was badly beaten and [Stephen] Kampyongo’s brother is in police custody after he was found with dangerous weapons. PF cannot celebrate the results like this. Our voters were intimidated and police intimidated NDC everywhere they went during the campaign period. By and large, we did well and will continue taking part in elections, that’s politics.”

And party’s spokesperson Eric Chanda said the results of the by-elections had given his party more impetus and ammunition to prepare for the challenges in 2021.

He said his party did not feel defeated and would not retreat but forge ahead.

“As a new party, NDC is encouraged with the poll results for the just ended by-elections. We do not feel defeated but the results of the by-elections have given us more impetus, more ammunition to prepare for the challenges ahead of us in 2021. NDC is not going backwards, it’s no retreat, no surrender…it’s aluta continua and what we are saying is that the struggle continues and long live NDC,” said Chanda.

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