UPPZ candidate in the Bahati parliamentary by-election Clement Mwila has accused the PF of collecting voters’ cards with a view to manipulate the April 11 poll. Mwila’s accusations were echoed by God Kind of Faith Ministry Reverend Pasco Mwansa, who told his congregation in Senama area on Sunday that people had gone to his house to “buy” his voter’s card but he rebuked them. Mwila explained yesterday that ruling party members had been going round and paying people K50 in exchange for their voters’ cards which they collect and return two days later.
“When these cards are collected, they go and write down the information which they will use to manipulate the election, then they return them to the owners. They are paying K50 for the voters’ cards,” Mwila said.
Asked what he was doing to stop the activity from continuing, Mwila said he had mounted a media campaign to expose it but would also lodge an official complaint to the police. The 33-year-old said he still remained confident of victory despite the PF’s manouvres because Bahati residents had already made up their minds. On Sunday, Rev Mwansa urged candidates in the Bahati Constituency by-election to reject violence and confusion. He said there were many children in the area and did not want to see the violent campaigns that characterised the Sesheke Constituency by-election in February to repeat themselves in Bahati.
“We will continue praying for you. But I want to say one important thing; we don’t want confusion. We don’t want these people who are going round taking people’s voters’ cards, some of them even came to my home and I saw them and I told them, this is not the way,” Rev Mwansa told the congregation which included Mwila.
The clergyman said candidates should campaign in an honest manner and allow the people to decide.
“Just campaign well, we have a lot of children here. We don’t want to experience what happened in Sesheke,” he said.
The PF’s Bahati Constituency by-election campaign manager Dr Chilufya Chitalu was not immediately available for comment on the matter. He promised to respond after 30 minutes but had not called back by press time. Bahati Constituency has 9 wards with 55 polling stations and 43,827 registered voters. Mansa ward has the highest number of voters totaling 10,254, followed by Kaole ward with 7,824. Charles Chalwe of the PF and the UPND’s Jerry Bwalya are also contesting the seat which fell vacant following Harry Kalaba’s resignation in January.