Governance, Elections, Advocacy, Research, Services (GEARS) Initiative Executive Director Mcdonald Chipenzi has downplayed the popularity of Mr. Charles Kakoma in the UPND and the impact his defection to the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) will have on the United Party For National Development (UPND) ahead of the August 12th elections. Speaking to Live Radio Mr. Chipenzi said he knows the genuine UPND popular pillars and Mr. Kakoma was not one of them. When quizzed how a man who got 1,877 votes and came out 7th at the UPND elective Assembly was not among the popular candidates in the Party Mr. Chipenzi refuted that Mr. Kakoma didn’t get 1,877 votes. ‘’Contrary to popular belief, Mr. Kakoma didn’t get 1,877 votes, that is not true but that is besides the point, what am trying to say is that Mr. Kakoma’s defection won’t affect the UPND because he has one voter’s card unless you tell me that PF members and those who join them will have two or more voters each when voting, then I will agree with you that his defection is a blow to the UPND, otherwise the man has a democatic right to join a party of his choice and I respect his right,’’ said the GEARS Director. When pushed in the corner to explain what he meant that Mr. Kakoma didn’t get the number of votes the official results indicated, Mr. Chipenzi said as GEARS Initiative they handled the UPND elective process from day one to the last transparently but he knows certain things he can’t discuss in the public.

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