By Philip Chisalu,
UNITED Party for National Development Kabwata aspiring candidate Andrew Teyengwa has rubbished suggestions that the cancellation of the Kabwata by election was induced because he is a weak contender whom the ruling party wants to replace.
And Patriotic Front candidate Clement Tembo has declined to comment on the cancellation saying he is still digesting the development.
Meanwhile, Economic and Equity Party candidate Chilufya Tayali has insisted that a named political party engineered the cancellation.
On Monday, the Electoral Commission of Zambia ECZ cancelled the Kabwata by election pursuant to article 52(6) of the republican constitution.
In a tweet on January 8, political commentator Dr Sishuwa Sishuwa said if UPND would file a different candidate after the cancellation of the election, it would confirm rumours that the ruling party induced the state of affairs.
“If the Kabwata parley by-election is cancelled, fresh nominations are held, as per Article 52 (6) of the Constitution of Zambia, and UPND fields a DIFFERENT candidate, it would confirm rumours that UPND induced this exit to substitute its unpopular candidate and escape defeat,” tweeted Dr Sishuwa.
But in an interview, Tuesday, Teyengwa said the cancellation was in accordance with the law and did not entail that he was a weak candidate.
“It is not something that has shaken my faith and my stance. I still strongly believe that with the works that I have done in the constituency, I am carrying the day. Whether they change and [postpone] it to another day, we will still manage to win as UPND. And the ones spreading rumours that Teyengwa is a weak candidate, know that I am very a strong candidate. Those rumours are just propaganda; they know that I will win with a run-away margin in terms of results. When you are weak, people do not want to talk about you, when you are strong, you receive opposition because they want to get what belongs to you,” he said.
Teyengwa asked those calling him a weak candidate to carry out some investigations at the grassroots.
“So when you go down on the ground, do your own investigations, you will discover that the name of Tayengwa is all over,” he said.
And PF candidate Clement Tembo said he could not comment on the cancellation because he was still digesting the development.
“At the moment I don’t have any comment, I would want to digest what is going on and then I will revert,” said Tembo.
Meanwhile, Chilufya Tayali has maintained that the cancellation has been induced by a named political party.
“This has been induced as a political machination by named political party. I am one of those that was earlier on called today (Monday) and asked to back a named political party and I refused that I am already a candidate and I have confidence that I am winning this election. And then later on to see this development, I am convinced myself that arising from the earlier call I received, this development has been induced by a named political party,” said Tayali, who insisted that he would file in his nomination once ECZ calls for a fresh process.