MMD campaign manager in the just ended Mufumbwe by-election Daniel Kalenga has charged that the United Party for National Development (UPND) connived with some polling agents to under-count votes for the ruling party.
And MMD national secretary Katele Kalumba has said the ruling party has overwhelming evidence of electoral malpractice by the UPND that the party’s lawyers are currently studying.
Mr Kalenga said in an interview yesterday that at Kampunshi Polling Station 212 votes were cast in favour of the ruling party and that at the tallying centre. only 112 votes were recorded in favour of the ruling party.
“We suspect that this was the trend with other polling stations. Another anomaly was that eight ballot boxes were brought to the tallying centre unsealed. Under normal circumstances, after counting at the polling stations the boxes are supposed to be sealed. But boxes were br
ought unsealed,” he said.
He said at Kabipupu Polling Station with only 56 registered voters more votes were cast and that more ballot papers were used.
Mr Kalenga said the violence that was perpetrated by the UPND also scared MMD members from voting.
“That’s why we need all these things verified,” he said.
Mr Kalenga, who is North Western minister, said he officially complained to the returning officer Rogers Chayang’a of the malpractises in the presence of UPND officials.
In a separate interview yesterday, Dr Kalumba said the party had solid grounds on which to petition the results.
The UPND candidate Eliot Kamondo scooped the Mufumbwe seat after polling 5,313 votes beating the ruling party candidate Mulondwe Muzungu by 304 votes.
“We are giving our facts to our lawyers as observed in the Mufumbwe by-election by our members,” he said.
He dismissed UPND president Hakainde Hichilema’s statement as reported in yesterday’s Post newspaper that the MMD was responsible for the violence.
He said the party had more information about the malpractises by the opposition UPND and that it was more than just the perpetration of violence.
He maintained that the UPND were totally responsible for the violence that characterised the Mufumbwe by-election.
“What happened in Mufumbwe is more than just the violence. Unless otherwise, I have directed the lawyers to examine the case,” he said.
The MMD said they could not concede defeat in the Mufumbwe parliamentary by-election because they had overwhelming evidence of some malpractises by the UPND.
But UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma said the MMD only got 112 votes at Kampunshi Polling Station and that the party agreed to add the 100 votes just to conclude the matter.
“We wouldn’t have agreed to a recount because there are some ballot boxes which were brought in unsealed,” he said.
He said the UPND is not responsible for the management of the election.
“In fact, the MMD and the Electoral Commission of Zambia are responsible for the management of elections,” he said.
He said the opposition party had information that the MMD were recruiting some people in Kapombo so that they could go and vote for people who had died at Kabipupu Polling Station.
“We had information that the MMD had bought some people from Kabompo at a place called Kashinakashi,” he said.
He said the petition would embarrass the ruling party because the opposition party has information of how the MMD paid some people K200,000 each.
“People are ready to come and testify how they were paid K200,000,” he said.
ECZ officials could not be reached for a comment.
TIMES OF ZAMBIA