Zambia: Prediction – UPND’s Mirriam Chonya Warms Up to Kafue Victory

Kafue is one of those constituencies that are very volatile having changed Members of Parliament thrice since 2001. Kafue has not just switched constituencies but also individual Members of Parliament. In 2001 they gave their votes to the UPND’s Bob Sichinga who was replaced by the MMD’s Benard Machila in 2006 before going the Patriotic Front route in 2011 with Obvious Mwaliteta. This alone should tell how unsettling it might be for the candidates lining up under the Kafue seat.

GIBSON SINKALA (PF)

Comes into this race hoping to continue the PF run in Kafue but has a huge mountain to climb. His cause was however aided by the personal appeal to Kafue residents by President Edgar Lungu during a rally. There is a lot more going for him to ‘sonta’ with the Nitrogen Chemicals back on its feet through heavy government involvement. There was also that random housing empowerment program launched by Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda where tenants will get houses as low as K18, 000. Overall the PF vote may be tampered to some extent by the departure of incumbent Obvious Mwaliteta who got knocked out of the race by the grade 12 certificate. Sinkala could ride on the PF card to run away with it.

MIRRIAM CHONYA (UPND)

Chonya comes into this race as a firm favourite to win the Kafue seat. She has not only the credentials but has also woven herself into the fabric of the Kafue community. The veteran educationist is former Permanent secretary and also headed the Zambia National Education Network (ZANEC). The tide in Kafue still does not yet provide a clear winner but the UPND has thrown everything in Kafue including making two supports in terms of presidential campaign rallies. The UPND support has never completely withered even at times they have lost the seat. Another former MP joining Mwaliteta is Bradford Machila, although not exactly fondly remembered is also part of the forces pushing the Chonya candidacy. Chonya looks set to get it.

The rest of the participants are as listed below:

ANASTAZIA MUTENDA (UNIP)

PETER MUUNGA (Rainbow)

Source: Zambia Reports.