– THE United Party for National Development (UPND) is confident of winning its first ever parliamentary seat in Northern Province because the opposition political party has broken the tribal specter that has over the years been used to stigmatize the party, Patrick Mucheleka has said.
– Mr Mucheleka who is the UPND candidate in the Lubansenshi parliamentary by-election said Luwingu was the birth place of the Patriotic Front (PF) and could become the place where the ruling party could begin to die because the people in the area were not happy with the governance of the country.
– Mr Mucheleka who is re-contesting his seat on the UPND ticket after the Supreme Court nullified his seat said the people of Northern Province were not happy that the PF was allegedly persecuting him (Mucheleka) and his counterpart former Kasama Central member of Parliament Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba.
– He told the Daily Nation from Lubansenshi that he was determined to deliver the seat to the UPND to prove to Zambians that the opposition political party had penetrated Northern Province.
– He said Northern and Luapula Provinces were no longer the stronghold for the PF and predicted that the ruling party was going to suffer its first defeat in an area that had over the years been dominated by the ruling party.
– “The PF in Northern Province was born in Luwingu and there are signs that it could begin to die from the same place because the people are angry with the ruling party. The UPND is going to get its first parliamentary seat in Northern Province by winning the Lubansenshi parliamentary seat. I have been a victim of the PF for speaking for the people and this election is going to be a litmus test and this is going to be the beginning of the end for the ruling party,” Mr Mucheleka said.
– He bragged that he defeated the then ruling party, the MMD and the PF in 2011 as an independent candidate and that it would be easy for him to retain his seat under the UPND.
– Mr Mucheleka said the UPND had become a political party of choice claiming that the opposition political party had become unstoppable as many Zambians were willing to associate with it.
– He said the issue of tribe was no longer a factor because Zambians had moved on and did not want to dwell on issues that were dividing the country. Mr Mucheleka said the UPND under Mr Hichilema was able to correct and reverse the adverse economic malaise adding that the policies of the opposition political party would ensure that sectors such as agriculture, health and education were given the priority because they centered on human life and development.