President Michael Sata has reportedly defied medical advice not to engage in strenuous campaigns in the forthcoming by-elections and is expected in Mpongwe on Monday for a rally to beef up the dwindling support of the PF candidate Gabriel Namulambe.
Sources close to Namulambe’s campaign team in Mpongwe told the Zambian watchdog that the PF had initially underrated the opposition’s strength and thought they would have an easy victory but things were proving contrary. “Initially we had underrated the opposition and that’s how we brought in bena GBM and team to campaign here but now it has just become apparent that the big man (Sata) has to be in though we are told that the madam is resisting due to ill health,” said the source.
The UPND is said to be pulling huge crowds to their rally and this has sent Namulambe’s camp into panicking. Namulambe is said to be worried about losing the seat which he voluntarily left after defecting from MMD to the ruling party. Currently UPND president Hakainde Hichilema is still in Mpongwe remote areas campaigning for his party’s candidate Rapson Chilufya.
The source further disclosed that when requests for Sata to travel to Mpongwe were first made, first lady and state house objected to the president’s travel but Namulambe pleaded with State house until when the President decided that he has to come and help in the campaigns.
Meanwhile Chilufya told voters at a meeting at Mishipa and Nsofu that he had made himself available to the people of Mpongwe to to enhance development in the area. He said he did not believe in politics of insults that Namulambe has engaged in but will go on discussing development agenda. This was in aapparent reference to Namulambe’s comment that his opponents were shallow thinkers.
“I am a farmer myself, I know the problems we have faced under the PF and Namulambe. I am at pain to see the retardness state of Mpongwe and that is why I would want you and me to work together,”said Chilufya.
Party leader Hakainde Hichilema told the gathering that God loved the people of Mpongwe, hence giving them another chance to vote out the bad and arrogant Namulambe and bring in the right candidate, Chilufya. “Lesa alimutemwa amupeleni chance nakabili, mwalivotele Namulambe amubutuka, lelo nomba pano voteleni ba Chilufya pantu nga mwavota ichi vote vote mukavotela nechinangwa (God loves you hence this chance so that you can vote for Chilufya because after voting for Namulambe he has decided to abndon you, if you vote carelessly you may end up voting for a totally useless person),” said Hichilema who has had a series of successful meetings and is expected to wind up his campaign with two rallies at Ibenga and Mpongwe markets today.