The United Party for National Development (UPND) is considering fielding United Liberal Party President Sakwiba Sikota as their candidate for the forth-coming Livingstone Constituency bye-election.
Sources within the party have told the Zambian watchdog that Sakwiba, who previously held the same seat under the UPND is a strong favourite because he also has the backing of the former ruling party MMD.
Sakwiba Sikota, a prominent Lawyer, is also a founder member and Vice-President of UPND under late Anderson Mazoka.
According to the sources, the rift that existed between Sakwiba and UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has since been healed as can be seen from the recent joint press conference on many issues of national importance between the two former foes.
“We are just trying to iron-out a few issues as you may know, that seat was co-petitioned between the UPND losing candidate Bright Chunga and PF’s Joseph Akafumba”.
Saki (Sakwiba) is a family friend who left the party over minor differences and there is nothing sinister in him re-joining the UPND as a founder member”.
For us in UPND, we are excited that a lot of our former colleagues are coming back and they are very welcome” the source said.
As you may know, Saki is a man of principal who is not swayed by the winds. If he wanted, he would easily have jumped into the ‘sinking boat’ (PF symbol) such as the likes of Silvia Masebo, Lameck Mangani, and others” the source said.
The Livingstone High Court nullified the election of MMD’s Lukulo Katombora as Member of Parliament for Livingstone constituency.
This followed a successful electoral petition in which losing UPND candidate Fredrick Chunga and Patriotic Front candidate Joseph Akafumba, jointly petitioned Mr Katombora’s election in the September 20 tripartite elections last year.
Mr. Sikota did not re-contest his seat last year opting to support the ruling MMD’s presidential candidate Rupiah Banda.
He is currently representing almost all the former MMD leaders facing corruption charges under the ruling PF government.