By-elections a defected tool to measure popularity – Chanda
By Staff Reporter
UNITED Party for National Development chairperson for mines and freedom fighters Percy Chanda has cautioned the Patriotic Front against using by-elections to measure their popularity.
In a statement to newsdayzambia.com, Chanda said by-elections and general elections had totally different dynamics and that the ruling party supporters would meet their measure in 2021.
Chanda said in a by election PF has the monopoly of accessing public resources while the opposition relied on donations.
“It’s a fact that PF can afford to bribe voters, door to door. Don’t ask me if the money PF uses to bribe voters is clean money or not as no thief will openly admit that he is a thief,” Chanda said. “Even in the courts of law thieves plead not guilty when deep down themselves they know that they are thieves. It’s also very easy for PF to intimidate voters in a by election than in a general election by ferrying cadres from all the towns”.
He said that the other issue that makes it very easy for PF to win by elections, which worked to their advantage.
“But against this small number of bribed voters, the majority doesn’t see it necessary to waste their time voting for a person they know too well will not change anything. A case at hand is the Kafue Council chairperson election where only 28% of the total number of registered voters voted, despite PF spending so much money bribing voters. The game changer in all this is the Presidential elections and I can safely say that come 2021 that seat will go back to UPND,” he said
Chanda added that in a general election, voters want change by overhauling the entire system.
“That’s why the Presidential race excites more people than individual candidates in by elections. For instance, voters now have ditched PF for UPND because they have all the confidence in HH than Mr. Lungu. This alone will draw more people to vote for change in a general election. And all those that will be associated with Mr. Lungu will suffer the same fate. PF structures know too well the mood of voters but are too naïve to tell the top leadership the truth. The top leadership is equally very content with these lies after winning by elections,” he said.
Chanda urged the PF to critically analyze why few people vote for them against those that stay away in by-elections despite spending a lot of money.