PF members furious.
THERE is a lot of discontentment on the ground among our members at grassroots level and the party now needs to listen more to the people, says Patriotic Front chairperson for elections Jean Kapata.
On Thursday, the UPND scooped the Mukuba ward by-election, an area considered a PF stronghold because President Edgar Lungu grew up in Kitwe and attended Mukuba Secondary School.
Graddy Simukoko of the UPND won the seat with 438 votes while PF candidate Gilbert Mushota got 361.
Independent candidates Kaputo Chibwe and Dorica Lungu got 138 and 32 votes respectively.
The seat fell vacant following the death of PF councillor Clement Kangwa.
Reacting to the by-election results, Kapata said the ruling party was worried about the huge discontentment among its members at grassroots level, which she said led to the loss.
“I think we need to listen to what the people are saying on the ground. There is a lot of discontentment on the ground among our members at grassroots level. We did not campaign hard, we need to sit down and sort out problems and push our party ahead of everything else,” said Kapata in her brief comments.
Several members of the Patriotic Front feel sidelined following the August 11 elections, with others complaining that preference was being given to new party members when it came to government appointments.
“So many people who worked very hard for the party to retain power are not being considered; mostly those who came from the MMD are the ones enjoying. You will see what will happen very soon, this party is facing problems,” said a member of the PF central committee.
But President Edgar Lungu recently said those who were aggrieved over jobs should wait for their turn as he was only appointing those with capacity to ‘effectively’ run the government.
President Lungu said he had no apologies to make over appointments and told those not happy to leave the party.
And PF Kitwe district youth chairperson Mkhuzo Kaboba said the loss in Mukuba ward called for hard work.
“It’s a minor setback but it calls for hard work. We may have our differences here and there but this calls for great introspection. We congratulate the UPND; their win shows we are in a democracy unlike what they have been speculating,” said Kaboba.
And UPND provincial youth chairman Kelly Jibinga said Zambians were not happy with the manner the PF had been running national affairs and wanted change.
“The UPND owes the people of Mukuba ward in Kitwe’s Nkana Constituency a very big thank you for giving UPND a sweet victory over PF and sending a very loud and clear signal to the PF government that the people of Kitwe and Zambia at large are extremely unhappy with the PF’s cruel ‘I don’t care’ kind of leadership. They have been shamed for taking people for granted,” said Jibinga.