Expelled MP for Chilanga Ngandu Magande is reportedly seeking the backing of both the PF and UPND to retain his constituency as an Independent candidate.
But the Watchdog has been informed that the UPND will feature their own candidate but would consider Magande if he formally joins the UPND.
Speaker of the National Assembly Amusaa Mwanamwambwa is set to declare the Chilanga and Kafulafuta seats vacant following the expulsion of the two MPs from the ruling party.
Both MPs have indicated that they won’t challenge their expulsion in court thereby setting the ground for three parliamentary bye-elections to be held at the same time. The Mpulungu bye-election date is yet to be announced following the death of MP Chibombamilimo.
Whereas Mpombo has not indicated how he intends to defend his seat either by seeking backing of other parties or just going it alone, Magande is busy trying to get the support of the opposition.
But Magande is unlikely to get any support from UPND as that party’s chairperson for defence Cosmos Moono has been waiting for a chance to reclaim his seat.
He has never been convinced that Magande genuinely won the seat. During the last elections, he and the other losing candidate, Priscilla Kamanga, of PF petitioned Magande’ elections as MP.
Further confusion in the Chilanga election may ensue as the PF may just decide to sponsor their own candidate especially with the current confusion in the so-called pact. It is very unlikely that the PF will give up the Chilanga seat and therefore compromise their dominance in Lusaka. The UPND on the other hand consider Chilanga to be their seat and would nit budge.
The PF though would gladly take in Magande to stand on their party ticket mainly because they have no strong candidate and Magande will do to erase the Bemba tribal tag being glued to the PF.