LOSING in Mangango is painful but we are not moved because you can’t gauge a party’s popularity through a by-election, UPND Secretary general Stephen Katuka has said. In an interview following the party’s loss in the just ended Mangango Constituency by-election, Katuka said by-elections were not the best measure of popularity of a party. He said the party was however consoled that it penetrated an area [Eastern Province] they have never won a seat.

He said winning a seat in Petauke and retaining another in Solwezi was soothing.

“By-elections are not the best measure of popularity of a party; by-elections, having been in this game for a long time, are not the best yardstick to measure popularity. From experience, do you know that you can win an election and eventually lose it? Well…a loss is a loss and we are not happy that we lost that seat but the only consolation is that it’s a by-election,” Katuka said.

“We have also penetrated in an area where nobody thought we would win a seat. We have won in Petauke and we have retained our seat after them getting our councillor in Solwezi to go, so we got back our seat. So we can’t be moved by this loss, we did what we could [in Mangango]. In politics you can’t determine until the people have voted, you have no control. We campaigned as much as we could but the final comes from the people. We have to respect the people if they have decided. It’s not as devastating as people might think. You win some, you lose some and there is no guarantee that those that have won now will win the general elections,” said Katuka.

The Patriotic Front’s Mangango candidate Goodwin Putu won the race to parliament.

Putu polled 5,618 votes while his closest rival of the UPND, Akakandelwa Mwendoi, secured 3,987 votes. UPPZ candidate Chingumbe Kabindama polled 607 votes whilst NDC’s Yuvwenu Kashandola only polled 122 votes.

Meanwhile, the UPND has unexpectedly taken a ward in Petauke district. The ward is in Kaumbwe constituency, which is led by Listed Tembo.

Nephat Banda of the UPND polled 730 votes whilst the PF’s Elina Tembo polled only 573 votes in Lusinde Ward.