FORMER Defence minister Richwell Siamunene says the United Party for National Development (UPND) employed a sophisticated rigging scheme in the Southern Province which saw the area record more votes than the Copperbelt despite having fewer registered voters.
And former PF Itezhi-Tezhi Member of Parliament Greyford Monde has disclosed that he will petition last Thursday’s polls because he has evidence implicating the UPND in malpractices.
Mr. Siamunene told the Daily Nation that he would petition the election of UPND candidate Gift Sialubalo as area Member of Parliament because of alleged electoral malpractices as the party had allegedly bought all the electoral officials to its advantage.
He said the outcome of the results in Sinazongwe did not reflect the will of the people as the electorate were forced to vote for the UPND under threat of being monitored in the booths.
He described the whole electoral process in the area as a sham because people were coerced to vote for the party they did not like for fear of being attacked because the area was a UPND stronghold.
Mr Siamunene said he was ready for the legal battle because he was robbed of victory through underhand methods which were against the electoral code of conduct.
He said on the polling day, some people were allowed to campaign right on the queues while PF sympathisers were beaten in full view of the police who allegedly did nothing because they feared they would be beaten too.
“You cannot have a situation where people are allowed to campaign on the queue. The UPND literally bought everyone involved in the election because even the police failed to do anything. People were beaten right up to the polling day and our polling agents were forcefully removed from stations and so, our vote was not guarded. They did all this with impunity because they knew all the officers were on their side. We had a situation where people were allowed in premises after voting and were going round the queues campaigning,” Mr Siamunene complained.
He said the propensity to engage in illegality by the UPND in its desperate attempts to win elections was appalling and that there was need for the party to sober up and realise that elections were about respecting peoples’ wish.
And Mr Monde, who lost the parliamentary seat to UPND’s Herbert Shabula, disclosed that UPND cadres had chased away PF polling agents and at some polling stations in Itezhi Tezhi and that the PF agents did not witness the counting of votes in the constituency.
He said that he would petition the election because he had enough evidence that UPND had rigged the elections.
Mr Monde also disclosed that he would petition the elections because Mr Shabula had instructed his thugs to beat up PF supporters on the voting day and that most of Mr Monde’s supporters were scared to go out and vote.
“The people of Itezhi Tezhi have said ‘no’ to those results, we have all the evidence that UPND rigged the elections in our constituency, so we’re going to petition. Also we’re going to petition the results because of the violence which was there on the voting day.
‘‘Mr Shabula had instructed UPND cadres to beat up all those they suspected of being PF sympathisers, so most of my supporters didn’t even vote because they were scared of UPND cadres,” he said..
Mr Monde revealed that Itezhi Tezhi received the highest levels of violence, with one of Mr Monde’s supporter being found dead near a dam and the other lost his eye.
He said that a lot of his supporters were injured on the voting day and that some were ferried to the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) for specialist treatment.
Mr Monde also disclosed that some of his supporters in Mapanda area and Kabulungwe ward of Itezhi Tezhi were burnt to death in their houses.