Residents of Mangango constituency have described the dishing of money and other gifts by PF as early Christmas and have continued receiving the bribes while decampaigning the ruling party’s aged candidate Rogers Lingweshi.
This came to light when UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema’s entourage entered the constituency yesterday to drum up support for the party candidate Goldwin Putu ahead of the 19th August by election.
Voters in Mangango and Luampa constituency where two local government by elections are also taking place told the Watchdog that the PF have been distributing gifts ranging from Chitenge material, cell phones, bicycles and money but residents have already made up their mind and are receiving and feasting on the gifts.
And PF thugs hired by secretary general Wynter Kabimba yesterday attempted to burn the bridge linking Mangango to Luampa village in an effort to block Hichilema from visiting the area but they were severely beaten by villagers and UPND youths, forcing them to flee the area before the fire was quenched.
And speaking at the scene, Hichilema expressed shock at the desperation of PF. He wondered why a by election should force people to destroy already existing infrastructure in an already impoverished constituency. Hichilema reiterated his call for peaceful campaigns and said he would remain in the constituency for some time so that he can adequately express the UPND mission to the people.
The mood in Mangango is very high with many people describing the by election as a mock 2016 general election. Some notable names in the UPND campaign team are parliamentarians Jonas Shakafuswa, Gary Nkombo, Misheck Mutelo and Antonio Carlos. PF team is being led by central province minister Obvious Mwaliteta.