Eight people who were scheduled to be presiding officers in today’s Livingstone parliamentary by-election have been dropped and replaced with new people.
The eight who have been identified are Mrs Hamoonga for Namatama polling station, Mrs Hankombo at holy cross, Mrs Fikoloma of Syanalumba.
The rest of the dismissed presiding officers are Mr. Malumbe for Libuyu, Mr. Kachele for Nansanzu, Mr. Choongo for Nakatindi, Mr. Sichikwenke for Linda East and Mr. Chonga for palm grove polling station.
The Returning officer for the Livingstone by-election Elester Hazingi confirmed the removal of the eight but refereed all queries to the district returning officer Vivian Chikoti as the right person to comment on the matter.
Mrs. Hazingi said that there was a complaint that those who have been removed and replaced were accused of being biased.
“Yes it’s true, there are about eight people that have been removed and replaced with new people. This was done when I was not there, I came in yesterday but they have been removed for security reasons,” she said.
Some of them have travelled while others are there. There was a complaint of them being biased but I am not the right person to confirm this so you can see the district returning officer I am sure she has not yet gone for lunch,”
And asked on whether those that have been removed were Tongas, Mrs. Hazingi said that it was not true because Livingstone is a Tonga land adding that there was no way such can happen.
She further said that those have replaced the eight were Livingstone residents and not by people from Lusaka.
“Livingstone is a Tongaland so it is not true to say that they have been removed because of being Tongas. And the people who have replaced them are locals and I even know where some of them stay,” Mrs. Hazingi said
But Livingstone Town Clerk Vivian Chikoti who is also the district returning officer told UPND National Chairperson for Women Affairs Namakau Kabwiku that it was not true that there were people who were removed as presiding officers because of being Tongas.
Mrs. Kabwiku confirmed having spoken to the Town Clerk but charged that if UPND discovers that the information was true, the party will not sit back but will demand for an explanation.
“We have heard the information that Tonga presiding officers have been removed, but this is not true then UPND will not sit back but demand for an explanation,” she said.
She said in an interview that there is only one Zambia and that it was wrong to discriminate other people because of their tribe.