MIXED fortunes yesterday characterised the first day of filing of nomination papers before acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda for next month’s presidential election following the death of President Michael Sata in London on October 28.
While the K10,000 nomination fee was an easy matter, Green Party president Peter Sinkala struggled for four hours to garner the required 200 eligible voters for presentation to Justice Chibesakunda who is the returning officer in presidential polls.
Mr Sinkamba also faced another setback while waiting for more supporters to go to the court as some of his earlier supporters were apprehended by the police for attempting to use other people’s national registration cards and voters’ cards.
The supporters, who were apprehended at different intervals were bundled onto a police LandCruiser and taken to a police station for interrogations.
Some of the victims renounced their membership of Green Party, saying that they were just invited to go to the Supreme Court to support Mr Sinkamba and were given Green Party T-shirts outside the court.
Due to a shortage of supporters, Mr Sinkamba who was clad in green embroiderd shirt and accompanied by his wife Gloria who was clad in green embroiderd dress, was marooned in the holding office waiting for his officials to mobilise more supporters.
At around 16:30 hours Mr Sinkamba, seeminingly tired of waiting for more supporters.
Mr Sinkamba attributed the shortage of his supporters to rain which he said compelled them to go back home.
And Justice Chisebakunda, who was flanked by ECZ chairperson Ireen Mambilima and commission director Priscilla Isaacs, commended Mr Sinkamba for his patience as it yielded positive results.
On the other hand, People’s Redemption Party president Gerry Sikazwe pulled out of the presidential race and opted to support Patriotic Front (PF) candidate Edgar Lungu. Mr Sikazwe said since his party’s beliefs were similar to those of the PF, he decided to be prudent and pull out.
Ms Justice Chibesakunda wished Mr Sikazwe good luck in his future endeavours.
She said it was a democratic right of every Zambian to aspire to higherst office in the country.
Meanwhile, Forum for Democratic Alternatives (FDA) presidential candidate Ludwig Sondashi successfully filed in his nomination papers before Justice Chibesakunda.
Dr Sondashi arrived at the Supreme Court around 09:00 hours accompanied by supporters
“I would like to say that I am overwhelmed for succesfully filing in my nomination papers.
I would like to ask Zambians to vote for me because I have a vision for this country,” he said.
Dr Sondashi said his intentions were to take Zambia forward when elected into office next month.
“I will ensure that I take over the constitution-making process from the Patriotic Front and enact the document,” he said.
Dr Sondashi said once voted into office his government would reduce the powers enjoyed by the sitting president in the Constitution.
He said FDA government would also restore the Barosteland Agreement of 1964 and ensure that resources were equally distributed in the country.