PATRIOTIC Front (PF) secretary general Davies Chama has said the ruling party’s victory in all three parliamentary by-elections is a sign that the opposition UPND no longer has a stronghold in Zambia.
The PF scooped Petauke and Malambo constituencies in Eastern Province as well as Mulobezi in Western Province which were all previously held by opposition parties.
Mr Chama said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that the people of Zambia had embraced the motto ‘One Zambia, One Nation’ as strongly emphasised by President Edgar Lungu to ensure unity among all the country’s tribes.
“The stronghold for the PF is the development that the Government is taking to all parts of the country and the people have embraced us because they have realised that they are witnessing development more than ever before.
“We have a serious leadership and the President has been preaching reconciliation, while the vision of the opposition is slander and using violence to gain recognition,” Mr Chama said.
The Women for Change (WfC) also expressed delight that the by-elections on Tuesday, this week had resulted in the election of female parliamentarians.
WFC executive director Lumba Siyanga said the victory was a clear demonstration that female candidates made good contenders when provided with an opportunity and support.
“We are happy that two women candidates emerged victorious out of the three. To this end, we wish to congratulate Dora Siliya and Patricia Mulasinkwanda for winning the Petauke Central and Mulobezi seats respectively,” she said.
The organisation implored other political parties to emulate the PF and adopt more women to contest elections.
Ms Siyanga said the organisation was concerned that women representation in Parliament was still low at 13.2 per cent compared to 86.8 per cent for men.
This is far below the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development requiring parties to at least reach a 50 per cent women representation in decision making portfolios by the end of this year.
She said representation of women in key decision making posts was crucial especially at policy level as it created an opportunity for society and the country to make decisions that encompassed the needs of both genders.