United Party for National Development (UPND) Livingstone candidate Regina Musokotwane has challenged the the ruling Patriotic Front not to disown their member who is charged with the murder.
Musokotwane said the evidence that is confirming the membership of Henry Harry Lungu to the PF is too overwhelming to dispute.
She said the PF should own up and acknowledge that Lungu is a member of the PF despite his murder charges.
“You know, we have video evidence where he stood on the same podium with senior PF and government officials announcing his resignation to the PF. The evidence was even aired on ZNBC and why should they dispute it now?” she asked. “People here are not happy with PF including their members for the things that have been happening lately. PF is ashamed and people here are ready to speak in the voting booths.”
Musokotwane said the PF violent nature has angered the people of Livingstone and that they are afraid to embrace their culture.
She further noted that the voting in most polling stations was slow (as shown in the picture above) but hoped that people will eventually turn up. She said in most polling stations she had visited, there were few incidences and few voters that had turned up.
By 09:30 to 10:00 today, the average number of voters was ranging between 150 and 200 out of the average registered eligible voters of 1,500.
The situation has also worried a coalition of seven Non Governmental organisations who are monitoring the by-election.
Among the coalition members is the Anti-Voter Apathy Project (AVAP), Southern Centre for Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD), Operations Young Vote (OYV), Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP), Zambia National Women’s Lobby, Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue and Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).
Coalition spokesperson Guess Nyirenda said the turnout of voters is very poor and described it as a worrying situation.
Nyirenda said the process is going on well except in one polling station where the venue was changed to another place without placing a sign post to redirect voters.
He also noted that after the violence that caused the postponement of election date from February 28 to March 14, people are still apprehensive on the by-election and that the situation is negatively affecting the voting.
Nyirenda further said some people are fatigued with voting especially that this is the third election they are conducting for the area Member of Parliament in 18 months and some have chosen to stay away.
He noted that the campaign ban by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) where they instructed party officials to only use electronic media has also contributed to the low voter turnout.
Nyirenda said people were not availed enough information on the candidates and some are finding it difficult to know whom to vote for because of limited physical interaction with candidates.