KAPOCHE Constituency member of parliament Dr Charles Banda says the outcome of Roan parliamentary by-election did not shake the Patriotic Front so much because it’s the only constituency on the Copperbelt that always votes for the opposition. In interview on Wednesday after conducting a constituency meeting with party officials at Chinzule Primary School, Dr Banda said history had it that Roan, being a mining area, has always gone for the opposition who could promise them jobs and other things.
“Roan is the only constituency in the Copperbelt that always votes for the opposition. I will give you examples; in 2001 MMD lost in Roan, in 2006 MMD lost to PF in Roan and in 2011 PF was in opposition and [Chishimba] Kambwili won as an opposition since that time MMD was still in power except when PF got government that Kambwili still remained a member of parliament under PF,” he said. “We understand the dynamics of politics in Roan. It’s the constituency for the opposition even when we were going there [campaigning] we knew that here there will be a scenario because they believe so much in those that say ‘I can when I get into office.”
NDC’s Joseph Chishala beat the PF’s Joel Chibuye in the April 11 by-election in Roan despite President Edgar Lungu and Vice-President Inonge Wina taking turns campaigning plus several Cabinet ministers, several MPs and district commissioners having camped in Luanshya rallying support for Chibuye.
Asked about the purpose of the meeting he had in Kapoche, Dr Banda said he came to prepare PF members for intraparty elections to be held next week.
“I came to prepare my people for the intraparty elections to be held probably next week by people from the central committee. We want to elect leaders that can drive the PF agenda in the right direction,” he said. “We need people who have the zeal to drive the PF agenda otherwise if we are not careful, it will be a disaster to elect people who don’t know or understand the ideology of the Patriotic Front party.”
During the indoor meeting, there was drama when ward councillors were accused by party members of causing confusion by attending meetings in Petauke without the knowledge of the party. It is believed some constituency officials and councillors attended a meeting in Petauke in support of Elias Daka for the position of provincial chairperson when the district is in support of the incumbent, Andrew Lubusha.
Constituency chairperson Bvulani Banda confirmed the development in an interview.
“We are worried with our councillors because they are the ones that bring confusion to ward officials because they are found in corrupt issues because they went to attend a meeting in Petauke without the knowledge of the party and that scared us a lot,” he said
Banda said the constituency was rallying behind Lubusha because he was a tested leader.
“Andrew Lubusha is the best. Wwe have seen his leadership for a good period and we are confident that he can take us forward. We tried Eliboma [Elias Daka] when he wanted to stand as member of parliament here and we saw that he can’t ran the province,” said Banda
Headman Chinzule Tryford Banda thanked Dr Banda for frequently visiting the constituency.
“We are happy to have you here. You had your private meeting and what I can say is keep coming, let people see your presence as doing so you will suppress the lies that others spread [that you are not seen],” said Banda.