The first one to file was UNIP’s Benard Nsimbi who came at 10:00hrs followed by PF’s Ingrid Mphande at 11:30hrs, MMD’s Jonathan Kapungwe filled at 12:30 while UPND’s Winter Libbohelo arrived at the civic centre at 14:00hrs. Chisanga filed his nomination at 13:00hrs but sources said he did not have valid documents and returning officer Kingsley Mtayachalo sent him back to allow him avail all the necessary documents.
Mphande, who petitioned the seat after losing in 2011 is an extension of ailing dictator Michael Sata’s family tree as her son Dr. Chimwemwe Sichinga who she had with Bob Sichinga is married to Sata’s daughter. She promised to solve all the problems once elected, but sources from the PF told the Zambian Watchdog that the party was held at ransom to field Mphande, and her husband Mr. Mphande) threatened that if PF do not adopt her then he would sponsor her to stand as an independent or apply on the UPND ticket.
Knorrasco Mutale Musonda, who was cheated with adoption if he defects was not seen at the filing centre premises.
Kapungwe has called for peaceful campaign and said MMD would wage a ‘performance comparison analysis’ campaign by comparing its record with that of the PF. He said he was the best candidate.
UPND’s Libbohelo, a businessman who has been resident in Mkushi for over 18 years said he would like to push government to address the multiple agriculture flops registered by the PF including the notorious maize for fertiliser barter system the government has introduced.
He said he is getting into the election with full knowledge that he is representing an agriculture belt and as such he would lobby that the youths are ably empowered.
He has also called for peaceful campaigns so that people are allowed to choose a candidate of their choice freely.
In a surprise and suspicious manner, Narep were also trying to look for a candidate to field in the last minute despite the earlier indication that they would not contest. Just after the UPND candidate filed his papers, Narep officials also came to the nomination centre with information that they were bringing a candidate.
With nominations done and campaigns expected to kick off afterwards, the 25th July Mkushi North by-election seems to be a two horse race between the PF and UPND.