Frank Bwalya tries to downplay PF’s early loss of two parliamentary seats

File: Frank Bwalya at a public meeting

Patriotic Front (PF) deputy spokesperson Frank Bwalya claims the party’s campaigns will not be negatively affected by the failure by two of its senior members John Phiri and Ngosa Simbyakula to file in their nomination papers, a situation that has effectively lost the ruling party two seats before a single vote has been cast.

Dr Phiri, who is Higher Education Minister, was eyeing the Lundazi seat but was turned away by ECZ officials after he showed up more than two hour late for his scheduled nomination. Justice Minister Dr Simbyakula equally saw his parliamentary ambitions in Muchinga constituency go up in smoke due to poor timekeeping, in a case that has greatly embarrassed the ruling party.

But Bwalya has sought to dowplay the consequences of the party’s loss of two parliamentary seats at this early stage, saying they will instead work with some candidates who have successfully filed in.

He told Muvi TV News in a telephone interview that the ruling party is working with the MMD candidate in Muchinga constituency and the independent candidate in Lundazi, who will both campaign for PF presidential candidate Edgar Lungu.

“A number of media houses have called us to make a comment about the consequences of the development that two of our members namely Dr Ngosa Simbyakula who is our national Chairperson and Dr John Phiri who did not file their nomination papers yesterday. Our position is that there are no negative consequences that would be to the level of affecting our campaign.

“What Zambians know is that we are working with MMD. In case of Muchinga constituency Mr Howard Kunda is campaigning for President Lungu because the MMD led by their new leader Mr Felix Mutati is not standing. In Lundazi we have a PF member Bezwayo Nkunika who has stood as an Independent and will campaign for our presidential candidate,” he said.

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