REQUEST Muntanga’s chances of being re-adopted to stand on the UPND ticket for the Kalomo Central parliamentary seat are hanging by a thread after five out of 11 wards in the area declared support for one of his six opponents, Smart Muwele.
Chawila, Nachikungu Sipatunyana, Choonga, and Simayakwe wards have all declared support for Mr. Muwele whom they have described as a unifying factor and a person who identified himself with the grassroots compared to the other six.
Simayakwe ward chairperson Timothy Mundia told the Daily Nation yesterday that his ward had decided to support Mr. Muwele because he identified himself with the challenges the people were facing and that he had shown leadership by working with the community in addressing some of the problems they faced.
Mr. Mundia said the constituency needed a leader that unified the people.
He said currently, only certain areas had received the attention they deserved while others especially those in the outskirts of Kalomo town had allegedly been neglected both in development and decision-making at party level.
Mr Mundia said there was need for the party to adopt Mr. Muwele because he had waited for a long time as the party had continued to ask him to give chance to other candidates.
He said there was need to foster intra-party democracy by levelling the playing field so that all candidates were given an equal opportunity to aspire to positions at party and national level.
“Simayakwe ward, just like several other wards in the constituency, has decided to rally behind Mr. Muwele, not because we hate the other candidates, but because we feel this is the man we need if we are to receive an equal share of development in this place. This man has already shown leadership by using his own resources to alleviate the suffering of the community and we feel we will have a better representation if he went to Parliament.
“If we are going to enhance intra-party democracy, then those who aspire to lead the people should be given an equal opportunity so that they are not aggrieved. In about two or three elections now, the party has asked him to give a chance to others but we now feel it is time for him to be given a chance as well,” Mr. Mundia said.
And Choonga ward youth chairperson Allan Nansayi said the party should allow the wishes of the majority to prevail as going against what people wanted was what retarded development in the area.
Mr. Nansayi said Kalomo central needed a person who would be willing to work with all the stakeholders to foster development.
“He (Mr. Muwele) has done a lot for us the youths in this ward and we feel the only way to reward him for his hard work is to adopt him. In terms of mobilising the party, he has done exceptionally well because there is no part of the constituency where people have never heard his name. As youths, we are greatly indebted to him because he is a kind of a person who believes in empowerment as a way of fighting poverty.
“He has not only given start-up capital to some youth groups in the constituency but has also taken time to advise them on how they can grow their businesses and so far most of the beneficiaries are doing well. Kalomo is a drought –prone district and water for both people and animals is mostly scarce. In some communities, he has even drilled boreholes using his own resources. We haven’t seen this among his contenders and this is why we believe he is the man of the moment,” Mr. Nansayi said.