Zambia now knows who will run for political office in the general elections on 11 August, as all candidates filed their nomination papers this week. The two nomination days for mayors and council chairpersons (30 May) as well as MPs and local government councillors (31 May) were characterised by confusion. Both the PF and UPND had adopted more than one candidate in several constituencies, in some instances leading to near punch-ups between the hopefuls. Some candidates changed party at the last moment, after failing to be adopted, while others, who had been adopted, failed to show up on time. We have gathered some of the highlights:
After the PF ditched former Vice-President Guy Scott for Commerce Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe in Lusaka Central (which led to Scott throwing his support behind the UPND), his wife, Charlotte Harland, is now the UPND’s candidate in this constituency. She will be up against Mwanakatwe (PF), Dorothy Mumba (FDD), Kelvin Chilambe (Rainbow) and Kasonde Mwenda (independent).
Minister of General Education John Phiri (PF) was too late to file in Lundazi. This constituency now has four hopeful candidates, including Frankston Banda (UPND) and three independent candidates, namely Lawrence Nyirenda, Evans Ngoma and Bizwayo Nkunika. The PF said that the latter would campaign for the ruling party, despite having resigned from it the previous day.
Justice Minister Ngosa Simbyakula (PF) failed to show up on time in Muchinga. The seat will instead be contested by UPND’s Emmanuel Banda and MMD’s Howard Kunda, the son of former MMD vice-president, the late George Kunda.
Former PF Deputy Minister Stephen Masumba is re-contesting his Mufumbwe seat in Northwestern Province, competing against Elliot Kamondo (UPND), Samora Kayombo (FDD) and two independent candidates, Davies Mbalau and Watson Kyakilika. In December 2014, Masumba was released from jail on a presidential pardon. He was serving 12 months for using a mistakenly issued accountancy diploma to gain employment.
Sylvia Masebo, former PF minister, will seek to re-take her seat in Chongwe Constituency, this time for the UPND; while Dora Siliya, former MMD minister, will seek to re-take her seat in Petauke Central, albeit for the PF.
Gunshots were fired in Kabwata in Lusaka, when Clement Tembo, who had been ditched by the PF, decided to stand as an independent candidate. Tembo allegedly had to fire several shots in the air to disperse angry PF cadres. He will be competing against several prominent politicians, including Agriculture Minister Given Lubinda (PF), the late President Sata’s son Mulenga Sata (UPND), Joseph Njovu (FDD), Simon Mulilo (Rainbow) and musician Maiko Zulu (independent). Tembo was later warned and cautioned by the police.
Lands and Natural Resources Minister Christabel Ngimbu (PF) is re-contesting her seat in Zambezi West and Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba (PF) will stand in Bahati Constituency, both will be up against a single UPND candidate.
The always hotly contested seat in Livingstone will see eight candidates, this time from PF, UPND, MMD, UNIP, Rainbow and three independent candidates.
UPND’s candidate in Roan Constituency in Luanshya, Joseph Chilambwe, withdrew his candidature at the last minute, increasing the chances of Minister of Information and Broadcasting Chishimba Kambwili (PF) retaking his seat, but UPND found another candidate, former Luanshya Mayor Reuben Kayekesi.
Former First Lady Maureen Mwanawasa will contest the election for mayor in Lusaka on the UPND ticket. She will be up against Wilson Kalumba (PF), Alfred Banda (UNIP), Cyril Muntanga (FDD) and four independent candidates, namely Fisho Mwale, Elias Mpondela, Kaweto Mwale and Martin Maisepe, reported the Daily Mail. Maureen Mwanawasa (picture – supported by former Vice-President Guy Scott) is the widow of the late President Levy Mwanawasa.
President Lungu’s daughter, Tasila, will seek to be elected PF’s councillor in Nkoloma Ward in Chawama, Lusaka. Her father used to be MP for Chawama before he was elected president.
And PF’s Peter Malumo already knows that he is the new council chairperson for Mulobezi District, as the UPND turned up with two candidates, who failed to agree on who should stand.