Kaoma MP denies vote-buying

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 12:01:22 +0000

KAOMA Central Member of Parliament Sitwala Sitwala says he has never involved himself in any form of violence or bribery as insinuated by Patriotic Front losing parliamentary candidate Austin  Liato.

Mr Sitwala said those allegations levelled against him were all lies as he was never involved in any sort of electoral misconduct.

“My campaigns were issue-based and naturally people of Kaoma Central constituency voted for me because they wanted change.

“The results, polling station by polling station, can testify to this because out of the 26 polling stations, there was no single polling station where the petitioner won. I am naturally the people’s choice,” he said.

Mr Sitwala, in his testimony before High Court Judge Anessie Banda-Bobo, said allegations that he distributed 50 kg of salt for people who had gathered at a UPND meeting in Kakonge was all lies, including that he gave out a K100 that was shared by three named people.

He charged that the petitioner’s witnesses were in fact UPND members with senior positions at the branch level and wondered how they could have testified against the party.

He explained that the named Agatha Kashimbi was actually the UPND chairperson at Kakonge, while Yokomeno Muyembe was a trustee at the same branch.

He explained that the two lied to the court when they said he (Sitwala) had given them salt to distribute and a K100 note to share among themselves with another person Ben Mwila who also testified against the party.

Mr Sitwala, who said he had never seen Mr Mwila till last week when he came to give tesimony before court, explained that in fact the witness was a very unpopular person in Kakonge area, with his background as a military person following the Zambia Army’s decision to evict squatters from a Government piece of land.

“By virtue of my professional background as a military person, I lived in Kaoma barracks and Kakonge area is an area where there were dozens of squatters on the army land, and in 2006 Government decided to relocate them away from that piece of land they claimed to have owned for over 50 years,’’ he said.He said even during the campaigns, the people of Kakonge area seemed to resent him for that reason which was why he held a few political meetings in the area which were poorly attended.

Mr Liato has petitioned the election of Mr Sitwala as the Kaoma Central MP, citing electoral malpractices which disadvantaged him as a competitor in the race.Mr Sitwala explained that he had never solicited for votes from anybody in Kakonge area as alleged, and that he did not distribute any salt or money to be shared for the people to vote for him.

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