Former Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda is likely to return to Parliament, probably in June this year.
This is according to unofficial results of May 21 elections that were held on Tuesday across the country.
However, the former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) treasurer general’s win comes after a spate of negative media publicity following his involvement in a maize purchase deal from Zambia which was dubbed ‘maize-gate.’
But after a 13-month long trial in the High Court, Chaponda was acquitted; but, anti-graft busting body the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) filed an appeal against him for being illegally found with unexplained amounts of foreign currency.
In his remarks Chaponda said he was “happy for retaining the people’s confidence.”
Said Chaponda: “I can’t say much. I thank God. And, I thank my constituents for trusting me, and being there for me.”
People in the constituency said Chaponda was inevitable, arguing he has a development conscious personality.
“He [Chaponda] continues to do a lot for this constituency including in the areas of education, health, agriculture and security. Since he became parliamentarian in 2009, we have seen what he is capable of doing and that is why we have given him another term to continue from where he left,” said Teresa Lipenga, 53, a constituent.
Another, Paulosi Phiri, said Chaponda’s win was as a result of his “caring heart for the people.”
Said Phiri: “We don’t know what some people might say on national level. But as far as we are concerned in this constituency, it will take time for us to have another MP that is so dedicated as he has been. We are looking forward to another five years of development.”
Chaponda of the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has seen off Josophine Kadewere of UTM Party, Alindine Chimbalanga (Independent) and Martin Namarenda (Independent).