MPS UNDER PRESSURE, AS RACE TO MANDA HILL HEATS UP
- In Lusaka’s Kabwata and Munali constituencies, the race has heated up as more youthful aspirants enter the fray with intentions of grabbing the seats from incumbents, Given Lubinda and Nkandu Luo respectively.
By OLIVER SAMBOKO and NOEL IYOMBWA
MEMBERS of Parliament across the political divide are feeling the heat from aspiring candidates working tirelessly in their constituencies to topple them.
Both Patriotic Front and UPND members are under pressure from a fully packed field of aspiring candidates.
From the Copperbelt, Lusaka through to Southern Province, indications are that incumbents will not have it easy.
Mr Christopher Kan’gombe and Mr Binwell Mpundu in Kitwe have given sleepless nights to Kamfinsa and Nkana East MPs, Mr Elario Musonda and Mr Alexander Chiteme, respectively.
In the UPND, strongmen in the likes of Mazubuka Central MP Gary Nkombo and his Monze Central counterparty, Jack Mwiimbu are also being challenged by youthful contestants who feel the two have overstayed.
In Siavonga, UPND MP, Darius Mulunda will be facing 11 challengers during primary elections including immediate former MP, Kennedy Hamudulu, who has indicated that he will seek reelection to finish the projects he left behind after he was not readopted in 2016.
In Lusaka’s Kabwata and Munali constituencies, the race has heated up as more youthful aspirants enter the fray with intentions of grabbing the seats from incumbents, Given Lubinda and Nkandu Luo respectively.
Lusaka Central’s Margaret Mwanakatwe is facing the heat from challengers including ZANACO Bank chairperson, Charity Lumpa.
The race to Manda Hill is becoming hot and uncomfortable for the incumbents who seem unprepared by the challenge from the aspirants.
The MPs from both the ruling party and opposition are under pressure and indications are that they will not have an easy ticket to Manda Hill in the August 12 election as they face stiff competition for re-adoption within their own political parties.
Most political parties have indicated that they will only adopt candidates popular on the ground.
In Lusaka’s Munali constituency, the incumbent MP Professor Nkandu Luo, who is Livestock and Fisheries Minister, complained that a number of male aspiring candidates from her party were actively campaigning to replace her.
Former Health minister, Dr Chitalu Chilufya is facing challenge from Stella Mbewe, who is aspiring for the Mansa Central seat on the PF ticket and has expressed confidence that she will be adopted by the party.
She wants to take over from Dr Chilufya, claiming that he was not popular enough to get the PF vote in this year’s election.
And one of the UPND aspiring candidates for Mazabuka Central, Mr Kizzy Moonga says he takes exception to a statement by some women in UPND endorsing Mr Nkombo as the preferred candidate for the seat in the August elections.
Recently, Mazabuka Central constituency chairlady Eli Mutinta single handedly endorsed Mr Nkombo as the preferred candidate for the Mazabuka seat, which has attracted sharp reactions from other aspirants on the UPND ticket.
She said Mr Nkombo was a pillar in UPND and represents the people of Mazabuka effectively hence the need for another mandate.
But Mr Moonga, disagreed with her statement and described it as misleading and does not represent the views of people who have not seen any development under Mr Nkombo’s period in Parliament.