[By Oliver Chisenga and Bright Tembo]
THE defeat in Lupososhi is wake up call for PF in the area, former State House aide Dickson Jere has said.
Meanwhile, PF secretary general Davis Mwila says the ruling party lost in its bedroom because of complacency.
Commenting on the UPND win in the Ilambo ward in Northern Province, Jere said for PF to lose a local government seat in that area is telling.
UPND won Ilambo ward via with 805 votes against the PF’s 635.
“The first-ever parliamentary seat for the Patriotic Front (PF) to win after its formation in 2001 was Lupososhi. My friend Musonda Mpakata, who is the outgoing ZICTA chairman and current PF Member of Central Committee (MCC), won that seat. The mighty MMD then was badly defeated in its perceived stronghold of Northern Province. Therefore, no history of PF can be written without the mention of Lupososhi Constituency! The place is significant in many ways…But for the PF to lose a local government seat there is telling…Lupososhi is not mere bedroom for the PF but “Kuchipinda”,” said Jere. “Whether it was wrong candidate or wrong campaign strategy – the truth remains that the defeat is wake up call for PF in the area.”
And Mwila blamed PF structures for the loss.
Mwila has also questioned the provincial minister Lazarus Chungu and interim provincial chairperson Chungu Bwalya how they allowed “to lose in their own house”.
“We also note that although the opposition scooped the Ilambo ward in Lupososhi, they (UPND) did not win it because of their appeal or their efforts but we lost it because of the complacency of our structures in this area. Lupososhi Constituency in general is very significant to the Patriotic Front, because it is the first ever constituency to elect a PF member of parliament,” he said.
Mwila added that this was a constituency that had the current provincial minister and interim provincial PF chairperson as its member of parliament.
“How does a sitting provincial minister and interim provincial chair lose in his own house? There must be accountability for this glitch in our performance, which has been generally exceptional. This is unacceptable; heads must roll. I have spoken to Northern Province PF chairman Chungu Bwalya to make a decision within the next 24 hours or a decision will be made by the Secretariat,” he said. “Ilambo ward will come back to PF where it rightfully belongs because of the PF development agenda under the leadership of President Edgar Chagwa Lungu.”
Meanwhile, Mwila commended people in PF’s strongholds for holding peaceful elections despite losing one.
“After yesterday’s by-elections, there is a pattern that is now more evident for everyone to see than ever before. There is a clear trend that distinguishes elections in our strongholds from those in opposition areas. Elections conducted in PF strongholds are peaceful and without violence, while those held in opposition strongholds are marred with violence and bloodshed,” said Mwila.
“We wish to commend all stakeholders for conducting peaceful elections in the respective areas and we appeal to the opposition to watch and learn the way of Peace from us.”