The UPND/PF pact has picked on Watson Lumba to contest the Solwezi Central bye-election, the Watchdog has been told.
Lumba is a Lusaka based businessman with business interests in Solwezi and hails from that area.
In the 2006 general elections, Lumba contested and lost the Solwezi seat under the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) which comprised UPND, UNIP and FDD. He came second from Tetamshimba. Tetamashimba polled 10, 459 while Lumba got 6, 045.
The seat was contested by six candidates who included two independents.
Chaulembi John who stood on All People’s Congress led by Ken Ngondo came last with 499 votes.
The Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) is says it will announce its candidate for the same seat soon.
And all People’s Congress president Ken Ngondo says his party will also contest the Solwezi seat.
Ngondo said although his party was ‘badly bruised’ in the Kasama bye-election, it is confident of winning the Kasama seat.
MMD National Chairman Michael Mabenga said on Saturday that the party was still making consultations on carrying late area MP Ben Tetamashimba’s vision forward. But the Watchdog has been informerd that the MMD held interviews for the candidate yesterday.
Mr. Mabenga said both Government and the MMD greatly benefited from the services of Mr. Tetamashimba who was also Local Government and Housing Minister.
Mr. Mabenga said that as of now, the party was receiving names of people wishing to contest on the ruling party ticket.
The Solwezi seat fell vacant following the death of area MP Mr. Tetamashimba and the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has set November 15 as a date for the by-elections.
“As a party, we are looking at adoption of a potential candidate and any business outside that comes later. We shall announce our candidate to contest the Solwezi seat soon and the nation will be informed,” Mr. Mabenga said.
Ludwick Sondashi’s party will also contest the seat. Sondashi on Friday declined to name the candidate for the seat but their are speculations that Sonadshi himself will stand.
The Forum of political parties will also contest the seat left by the late controversial Ben Tetamashimba.