UPND says it will report its Kasenengwa parliamentary candidate Dr Faustin Sitima Banda to the police for disappearing with campaign money and materials a day after his adoption.
Stephen Katuka, the UPND secretary general, told the media at the party secretariat this afternoon that the ruling PF had continued its undemocratic tendances of buying candidates in by-elections just like they did with the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Chilanga by-election.
Katuka said after the UPND gave Dr Banda money and materials for the campaigns on Wednesday, he disappeared.
“We only learned last night (Wednesday) that he [Dr Banda] had disappeared and switched off his phone and he is nowhere to be seen. We have to start re-planning and find an alternative candidate. We are depending on the people in Eastern Province to give us another candidate and we will file in at the eleventh hour,” Katuka said. “Just like it happened to our colleagues from NDC in Chilanga, our candidate Dr Faustina Sitima Banda has disappeared after getting our adoption certificate and campaign materials for Kasenengwa. We also gave him cash which cash he has disappeared with.”
Katuka said the maneuvers of the PF could easily be understood by the public.
“We strongly think that Zambian people will now understand the position of our competitors which has been characterised by price tagging people and buying them. We are proceeding to report the matter to police against Dr Banda for obtaining money by false pretences,” said Katuka.
Dr Banda was the party’s candidate in the 2016 general elections where he lost to the late area member of parliament Victoria Kalima. The by-elections is slated for September 6.
Meanwhile, National Democratic Congress secretary general Mwenya Musenge announced his party would not take part in the election after PF bought off its preferred candidate Sensio Banda.
“Mr. Banda has since successfully field in his nomination under the Pf. Up until five days ago, Mr. Banda was a bona fide member of the NDC,” Musenge stated.
“Mr. Banda sat on the select committee of the NDC that has been tasked to draw up the party manifesto. The party is deeply disturbed by attempts by the PF to cripple the opposition in the country. This is the second time that the PF has bought off a prospective electoral candidate from the NDC.”
Meanwhile, onlyu three candidates today successfully filed their nomination for next months Kasenengwa by-election.
The three include PF’s Sensio Banda, John Zulu of PAC and Abel Ngwenya of UPPZ.
UPND’s Dr Faustin Banda could not file his nomination after he failed to show up at the nomination centre at Chikungu Primary School.
Kasenengwa returning officer Noel Sichale declared the three as the only successful candidates.
Kasenengwa district electoral officer Mabvuto Masiye said the UPND promised to bring a candidate during a stakeholders meeting.
“At the time of the close of the nomination, there was no candidate that came in from UPND although one representative of the part came in to say they are expected to bring in a candidate. Later on our staff went to find out whether there is an agent because a nomination can even be lodged by an agent but there were no documentations from the agent so we saw no reason to wait infinitely, so we had to close the exercise,” said Masiye.