By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) leader Sean Tembo says they have not accepted the results in the Kabwata Parliamentary by-election as a true reflection of the free will of the people of Kabwata Constituency.
Mr Tembo also said that the party has intention to petition the outcome of the Kabwata by-election in the courts of law, because an election should be won by the most popular political party and not the most violent.
And Mr Tembo alleged that this is because of the violence which was perpetrated against the party’s members and supporters by the ruling UPND party from the very onset of this election cycle.
“On 28th December 2021 during the first nomination process at St. Patrick’s Primary School in Kabwata, members of the PeP Womens National Choir were attacked by UPND members led by William Banda, in full view of police officers. Four of the attacked PeP members suffered serious injuries and had to be admitted to Levy Mwanawasa Hospital for more than a week. The PeP bus was vandalized, music equipment including amplifiers and speakers stolen as well as two drums,” he said.
Mr Tembo said that the matter was reported to Kabwata Police Station and despite the assailants being identified by the victims; the police did not make any arrests and the docket remain open up to this day.
He said that PeP members were again attacked by unknown people clad in UPND regalia during the second nomination exercise on January, 20th, 2022 again at St. Patrick’s Primary School.
“This caused our people to scamper in all directions and prevented the PeP candidate Mr Muleya from filing in his nomination at the allocated time. Our people had to regroup hours later and we were only able to file our nomination after hours due to the leniency and understanding of the Electoral Commission of Zambia,” he said.
Mr Tembo claims that these two blatant acts of violence by the ruling UPND against the PeP party instilled fear in the people of Kabwata and prevented them from freely associating and supporting his party.
“This was especially given the fact that the Police failed to arrest the perpetrators of the first violent incident that took place on December, 28th, 2021, despite those people being clearly identified by their victims.
Mr Tembo said that with the given reasons, his party has refused to accept defeat in the Kabwata Parliamentary by-election as they firmly belief that they would have been more attractive to associate with and support without the violence against them.