Prediction: Chawama Tilts Towards PF’s Lawrence Sichalwe

Thousands-Chawama MournersChawama is one of those high stakes constituencies going into the August 11 elections. For the ruling Patriotic Front, there will be some pride to fight for being the constituency formerly held by the President Edgar Lungu and winning the seat will be a seal of approval to the Head of State. For the opposition, winning Chawama seat is just the kind of humiliation they would want the ruling Patriotic Front to suffer. However close it looks, this is a seats tilting towards the ruling party candidate largely because Lusaka still remains firmly more than 50% PF.

Potipher Tembo (UPND)

His appearance on the ballot as a United Party for National Development (UPND) candidate provides one of the common recurring paradoxes of this election. Groomed in the art of article of politics in the Patriotic Front and served as a councillor on the ruling party ticket but jumped ship after being overlooked for adoption. Tembo so much wanted to be on the ballot that he shed off his green DNA on the day of nominations to file on the UPND ticket. How much of Tembo is UPND is everybody’s guess and whether or not the people of Chawama will believe his belief and push for a UPND agenda is a matter only August 11 will settle. Tembo believes he was best placed when he was in the PF to be the favoured candidate but the party thought otherwise. No doubt he will be a formidable candidate and one not to be dismissed lightly.

Lawrence Sichalwe (PF)

Not one of those you will find standing on an anthill waging a vicious campaign or personality charge to win votes. His cool headedness seems to unsettle his opponents who find it odd that in quietness one can be so effective. Having already twice overcome opponents in the party during the by election and recently for adoption, Sichalwe seems to have his grip on the Chawama constituency firm. His humble demeanour and man of the people approach connects very well with the Chawama constituents. He will also benefit from the strong ruling Patriotic Front base in Chawama and looks set to return to Manda Hill after the August 11 elections. There also that huge pride in Chawama of voting PF as an endorsement of having their very own in State House. It is an outcome President Edgar Lungu will be personally keeping an eye on. What more with his daughter Tasila putting the Lungu dynasty on the line as she will be contesting for the position of councillor. It may be too high a bar other hopefuls for the Chawama seat.

Morgan Muunda (FDD)

The FDD has refused to be off radar in this election and in Chawama they have given it some shot by pushing a local for the seat. Chawama maybe is one of those constituencies where riding on being resident in the community renders credence to running for the seat but Muunda will have it rough given how high the stakes are for the PF and UPND to win the seat. He will comb some votes but not enough to mount a credible challenge.

Bywell Kaluba (UNIP)

Not very different from the FDD script as UNIP has been only too happy to participate in elections since 2001 and it is a miracle they still find candidates to field.

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