May 27, 2004

Movement for Multiparty Democracy concedes defeat in by-election

The MMD has expressed disappointment over its loss in the Kantanshi by-election which has been retained by the Patriotic Front (PF). MMD spokesperson Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika said that the party was disappointed with the result but congratulated the PF for retaining the seat. Opposition PF candidate Yamfwa Mukanga scooped the Kantanshi seat beating three other candidates from the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD), UNIP and the MMD. The seat fell vacant following the death of the then PF MP Alex Manda.

Copperbelt Province Minister Webby Chipili said although the MMD had lost twice this did not mean the party was finished. The minister said it was sad that the people of Kantanshi voted for Patriotic Front thinking the opposition would solve the problems they were facing. He said the electorate in the area should have realised that PF leader Michael Sata was part of the administration which imposed misery on the miners by privatising the mines and rendering several of them unemployed. Mr Chipili also accused PF of vote buying during the elections won by its candidate who polled 3.820 votes against MMD's Thomas Kalimanshi's 2.317 votes. The others who contested were Elizabeth Phiri from the Forum for Democracy and Development who got 166 votes with UNIP's Oliver Kabango only managing 77 votes. (The Times of Zambia, Ndola)

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