The opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) have threatened to petition the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to disqualify Patriotic Front (PF) aspirant Godwin Putu in the Mangango parliamentary by-election on account that he does not qualify.
The Mangango seat left vacant following the death, in a road traffic accident, of then UPND Member of Parliament Naluwa Mweene.
UPND Elections Chairperson Gary Nkombo has alleged that the PF candidate, Mr. Putu confessed that he does not have academic qualification to contest.
Speaking when addressing journalists in Lusaka yestrday, Mr. Nkombo implored ECZ to investigate the PF through Putu’s abrogating the electoral code of conduct.
Mr. Nkombo said that his party will engage the lawyers to scrutinize the documents Mr. Putu presented to see whether the qualification authority of Zambia and Examination Council of Zambia genuinely certified his documents he presented to electoral commission of Zambia (ECZ).
According to Mr. Nkombo, owing to constitutional academic qualification clause, Mr. Putu does not qualify as he does not possess a grade 12 certificate.
Putu, who recently defected to the ruling party, is a former councillor in the area and contested the Mangango seat on the UPND ticket in 2014 but lost.
PF secretary general Davies Mwila announced Putu’s adoption at a media briefing in Lusaka today. He said the PF is confident of scooping the seat that was left vacant by the death of UPND MP Naluwa Mwene in a road traffic accident.
Mwila also announced that PF member of the central committee Paul Moonga has been appointed as campaign manager and will be assisted by Captain Walusiku Liambela and former Minister of Labour Austin Liato.
Meanwhile, UPND secretary general Steven Katuka has told state broadcaster, ZNBC, that the opposition party had 11 applicants for the seat and has since whittled down the list to three.
Katuka is confident his party will easily defend its seat.
On the same date, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) will hold the Council Chairperson’s Election in Lupososhi District and also conduct five Local Government by-elections in Chisanga Ward of Ngabwe District, Lusinde Ward of Petauke District, Nkhanka Ward in Chama District, Sipuma Wars of Shang’ombo District and Tumvwanganai Ward of Solwezi District.