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I WILL stand as an independent candidate for Petauke Central parliamentary seat and I will defeat Ms Dora Siliya, suspended PF Eastern Province youth chairperson Emmanuel ‘Jay Jay’ Banda has declared.

Mr Banda who was left out of the final list of the candidates adopted on the Patriotic Front ticket said he respected the decision of the party but would contest as an independent candidate.

He however said despite his decision to face Ms Siliya in the August 12 election, he would support President Edgar Lungu.  He was speaking at a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday.

Mr Banda said as much as he respected the decision of the PF central committee, he felt that his availability in the August 12 election would bring more votes to President Lungu’s bid for re-election.

“I respect the decision by the central committee, but I have to say that I will contest as an independent Member of Parliament in the August election in Petauke and I will win.

 “I want to add more votes for the President. I don’t want people who are my supporters to be frustrated by the decision of a few individuals to leave me out of the ballot. I have decided that looking at what President Lungu has done, it is time for me to continue supporting him in a much more critical manner by ensuring that I contest and campaign for him,” he said.

He explained that Petauke and the entire Eastern Province had experienced more development under President Lungu, and therefore, there was need to help him retain power to ensure continuity. Asked why he thought was not adopted, Mr Banda said, “it was because of those trumped up charges that I was going through which I was acquitted but my PF MCCs used it as a technical knockout against me.”

And Traditional Affairs Minister Lawrence Sichalwe says he has accepted the party’s decision not to readopt him for the Chawama constituency parliamentary seat. The PF has adopted Ms Tasila Lungu Mwansa  for Chawama constituency in the forthcoming general elections leaving out Mr. Sichalwe who has held the seat since 2016.

Mr Sichalwe pledged to work with the adopted candidate to ensure that the PF retains the seat.

Meanwhile, Lands and Natural Resources Minister Jean Kapata has thanked President Edgar Lungu for the privilege he had bestowed on her to serve as minister.

Ms Kapata congratulated Mandevu PF candidate Christopher Shakafuswa on his adoption.

She expressed confidence that Mr Shakafuswa will deliver votes for the President and the party in Mandevu.

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