Voting patterns: Which party has national character?


Elections are the central institution of democratic representative governments. In a democracy, the authority of the government derives solely from the consent of the governed.

The principal mechanism for translating that consent into governmental authority is the holding of free, peaceful and fair elections at their intended time.

Jeane Kirkpatrick, a scholar and former United States of America (USA) envoy to the United Nations (UN), who once offered the definition of democratic elections as, “Democratic elections are not merely symbolic, they are competitive, periodic, inclusive, definitive in which the chief decision makers in a government are selected by citizens who enjoy broad freedom to genuine criticise governments and to present alternatives,”

Renowned former USA President Abraham Lincoln who is revered to be the pioneer of liberal democracy stated that “Democracy is a government of the people by the people for the people.”

In a lay man’s language this simply means government leaders are legally ushered in office with the blessing of the electorate themselves, through credible elections.

Historically known for their love for peace, Zambians would be on the spot light again eager to cast their vote to choose credible leaders who would deliver on the successful developmental programmes that the current Government of President Rupiah Banda and the ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) are continuing to score.

Recently, United Kingdom (UK) envoy to Zambia, Ms Caroline Davidson praised the peaceful manner the Zambians exhibit during elections time.

As per elections tradition, Zambians who are registered voters are later this year expected to vote in the forthcoming tripartite polls.

Republican President Banda has and is continuing at various foras, urging the citizenry to maintain the peace that the country is known for as a beacon of tranquillity not only in Sub-Saharan Africa but the world at large.

“What is the purpose of having so many political parties when on the ground there is only MMD, UPND and PF which are worth calling active,” Ms Mwandila states.

Polls in the past elections have been perceived to be characterised by regional voting, especially in regions where the opposition political parties claim to command a lion share of supporters.

But the MMD seems to be the only genuine political party among the more than 40 registered parties with the Registrar of Societies Act Cap 119, to genuinely claim that they for sure exist in all corners of the country.

Without mentioning names, some of the political groupings are only regionally based in either a single province or in a district in Zambia, while other political clubs exist only on paper gathering dust on shelves.

Similar sentiments were echoed by a cross section of the public. Ms Ruth Mwandila, a resident of Kitwe’s Chimwemwe Township but came for her shopping in Lusaka, was of the view that some political parties that seem not to be active are supposed to be deregistered by the Registrar of Societies.

“What is the purpose of having so many political parties when on the ground there is only MMD, UPND and PF which are worth calling active,” Ms Mwandila states.

Kenneth Mafuta a resident of Lusaka’s Kamanga Township questioned as to why in his views, some opposition political parties do not hold conventions like the way the ruling MMD party converged its delegates to elect office bearers in Kabwe recently.

To substantiate this fact, the ruling party under the able leadership of President Banda got overwhelming results of 708,683 from all the 73 districts of the nation in the 2008 Presidential by- election held on October 30.
The elections were occasioned following the untimely death of late Republican president Levy Mwanawasa who died on August 19, 2008 at the Percy Military Hospital in France.

To name one constituency in Central Province’s Chitambo as an example, official results declared by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) indicate that President Banda garnered 2,752 votes while PF leader Michael Sata managed to get 1000 with UPND’s Hakainde Hichilema collecting a paltry 93 votes.

In Chisamba President Banda polled 6,376 votes with Mr Hichilema grabbing 4,234 votes while Mr Sata got only 489 votes.

The region mentioned is an area where the president does not even hail from.

It is worth mentioning that even in parliamentary by- elections like the one that was held in the Chitambo Constituency on August 13, 2009, the ruling MMD retained the seat with a run-away victory against their closest contenders the PF-UPND pact candidate.

MMD’s Solomon Musonda won the polls with 3,149 votes beating the defunct PF-UPND pact’s Chanda Mutale who garnered 1,803 votes, while Timothy Kapolo who stood on the former ruling party UNIP only poured 309 votes.

Southern Province which is no doubt the stronghold of the UPND but recently the ruling party seems to make inroads and this surely is sending shivers in the opposition camp.

For the record, in the 2008 Presidential polls, in Chikankata Constituency where the UPND and Mr Hichilema got 8,782 votes, President Banda and the MMD garnered a convincing 2,131 votes there by proving that the party in power has a nationalwide support to its cadreships.

In Lusaka Province which is perceived to a PF stronghold, official results indicate that in Chawama Constituency, President Banda amassed 9,918 votes while Mr Sata and his PF received 17,563, the UPND’s Hichilema got 4,052.

In Solwezi Central Constituency, the cosmopolitan capital of North-Western Province, President Banda garnered a whopping 9,622, Mr Hichilema got 2,562 and Mr Sata trailed with 2,270 votes.

In Luanshya Constituency, President Banda polled 6,188 while Mr Sata got 9,620, with Mr Hichilema managing a paltry 829.

The results of the last presidential polls confirms that where as some opposition political parties that are still active command votes in few regions of the country, the MMD is the only party that has a high traffic of cadres whom they would be courting to give them another mandate if the citizenry are happy with the huge developmental programmes that the State is tirelessly embarking on.

Needless to state that in as much as armchair critics of the Government would want to blind themselves from appreciating and giving credit to the State where it deserves it, the public are able to see for themselves the various projects that have either been completed or are currently under way.

Against this back ground, every peace loving Zambians who are registered voters should indeed turn up in large numbers to cast their votes.
[ Times of Zambia ]


  1. Philosophers say CHANGE IS REALITY. imagine a person who does not grow. Its the law of nature to grow through change. Thus, not exempting the political environment, for Zambia to grow to its heights we need to change Government from MMD to PF then to NAREP. Not that we hate RB, his working at the last minute using unbudgeted money. God forbid i can`t stand another WAGE FREEZE. i gues the catholic church MMD has annoyed through Dora silit wont be there this time to help us from another HIPC. GOD forbid MMd. Its time for PF.

  2. I didn’t need to read the entire article to know the conclusion of the writer. The moment I realized it was a Times of Zambia article, then all was laid bare. Give us balanced news please

    • The moment I read the part which said the ruling party under the able leadership of president Banda. I knew the article is an MMD campaign ploy and it didnt come as a shock either that the article was from the Times of Zambia.

  3. no 1, as much as i dont support Dora’s attacks on catholic church, though she is only human, have also taken time to read what some catholic priest hatred written in the ‘Bost Newspaper? Let the church apologize as well.

  4. @ no 3. Even if you will have known the conclusion but you agree that there is some degree of truth there. What do you call balanced news? is it because you dont agree with wat has been written there?

  5. MMD to PF is not change, PF comprises of the people who occupied government offices under MMD and failed us. MMD to UPND that is what we call change.

  6. I eagerly anticipate the elections of which being in the diaspora, I am disenfranchised and can only watch. When, O when, will I be allowed to cast my vote overseas? The South Sudan allowed Sudanese people abroad to vote in the referendum, but we are not and yet each party courts us for money!

  7. This is absolute nonsense of an article, no matter how much u campaign for yo finished RB, H.E MC SATA has already won ! VIVA PF

  8. MMD to PF is not change, PF comprises of the people who occupied government offices under MMD and failed us. MMD to UPND that is what we call change….

  9. Change of political parties cannot and will never benefit the masses. It will always be a merry go round. Beneficial change can only come about through changes in production, changes in infrastructure, improvement of socials infrastructure, focus on both human capital and social capital. Voting for 90day change would be disaster because meaningful change is gradual. Sudden change rarely works, it actually has negative consequences.  

  10. the writer of this article is so shallow in scope of the truth he\she why is so, first of all some other party never grow because of lack of money to run the party because in zambia are not founded by the govt have to source individually. And the rules in zambia about use of govt media is so unbalance so to opposition to use the media to make itself popular like the mmd is not there. and mmd become popular in shortest time because it came as wind of change and by help of icengelo magazine and now has been long in zambia so we cant compare with others beside that it the ruling party. And have contributed of have regione parties who will found to cover the whole country

  11. I ve personally made this analysis and also listen to issues of rigging, though am non partisan RB can win even without so called rigging, opposition lost chance when pact died

  12. All this writing about who has been endorsed by which chief or which person has no meaning and impact. We all know what should be done and it will be done.

  13. There is only one Political Party in Zambia with a national charecter. I am sure I do not have to mention it…deep down your hearts you know which one it is…..ka?

  14. What kind of change do we want as zambians? Is It change of parties or change for good. What change is there from MMD to PF? MMD+MMD=UNIP

  15. Ifwe twakulatambako fye as ubupuba in Zambian politics unfolds. I dont care, after all the two rival grandparents are technically the same, they both went to old school, undoutedly very tired, no vision, no new ideas etc. Why would a person as educated as I’m put my hopes in MS or RB? that would be very unfair to my self and my family. So continue fighting folks, as I watch from the terraces.

  16. Instead of talking about progresive agendas for the country, the author decides to waste all his time and poor english on national charector (whatever it is), honestly what does national charecter have to do with unemployment, very high poverty levels, very poor road infrastucture etc? Zambia has moved from being one of the world’s largest producer of copper, and one of the richest in Afica at independence to being the one of the poorest in the region mainly because of such nonsense and misplacing priorities.

  17. Viva Sata Viva PF.
    Luangwa township in kitwe was yesterday brought to a stand still when PF held a rally, though His Excellency Michael Chilufya Sata was not there, I was impressed by the turn out thatr really showed that people want change from MMD to PF.Though the event was worth news I did not see Banda Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC), Times of Banda or any MMD tabloid to capture the rally which was organised by PF Wusakile constituency officials and addressed by Timothy Walamba.

  18. Fellow Zambians, I do not believe the change which PF is advocating is real and beneficial. There is no way a Party that has never changed its internal structures from its formation many years ago can guarantee democratic governance. If there is need to change then it must start within PF itself. Let Mr.Sata show that he is a democrat by allowing others in his party to run for presidency.


  20. Is the PF leader genuine by blocking everyone in his party and always crying after losing? Does it mean PF has no other credible people that can stand for Presidency? The PF leader has failed many elections and if he was a genuine democrat he would be talking about successors running for 2011. We want to see the likes of Lubinda, Kabimba or Scot battle it out with RB and HH. That to me would be meangingful change. I hope our people are not deceived by that ka lumpen of Change Zambia.

  21. This article is biased and therefore lacks merit. Sata got votes in Lusaka, Copperbelt, Luapula and Northern. If Copperbelt and Lusaka don’t represent Zambia, then I don’t which place represents Zambia. MMD got rural vote because of underhand methods. Copperbelt and Lusaka has Zambians from all the corners of Zambia and whoever wins these provinces is a national character. I don’t agree with the above analysis. This is MMD propaganda at its best. MMD got the rural vote because rural voters exchange their vote for salt or soap, which is not the case in the urban areas. I don’t support PF, but I think that the public media is gone to the D.O.G.S. This article leaves a lot to be desired and is void of objectivity and common sense.

  22. MMD has no national character. Change is what we need and the PF is the only party to bring change the Zambian people want. The mmd have failed and we need to usher in a new govt which will heed to the people’s plea for service delivery. HH try 2016 as 2011 is for one Michael Sata.
    Uno mwaka, dont kwibabula, or rather dont kwibambila, mu mubwato bwetu.

  23. # 21, stop thinking in a cocoon. Who bloody told you that Copperbelt and Lusaka represent Zambia? Zambia is made up of 9 provinces. Even Shangombo is in Zambia..Think with your brain and not your back!!!!

  24. Point of correction UPND is only active in Choma, elsewhere people attend their rallies because they want to have a share of meat they carry with them everywhere they go.

  25. #18
    Tell me which MP is as popular as Sata? Your uncle, Rejected Banda fired all those that wanted to challenge him, tell me what kind of democracy that is?Our Sata has never fired any one with intentions to challenge him.VIVA SATA VIVA PF PABWATO!
    MMD will bring us chitenge,sugar,cooking oil, soap,money and many other things and we will scream chwe chwe chwe like we are part of you but when it comes to voting we say DONT KUBEBA pantu ni Ba shikulu Ba Sata.

  26. P.F are only popular in Bembaland and Sata only wants to get in power to save the Post.People only attend Sata’s rallies to watch the Clown in action…..Viva the flip flopper called Sata

  27. if we speak in Bemba,Ila, Silozi or Ngoni at the end we will be saying one meaning we’re one people. If we are one people and united, we will reason together and do right things as we go into elections this year and choose our leaders based on quality. It is because of unite and love for one another that will give us wisdom to usher in credable leadership. Its not one’s affliation, one have the right to choose a credable leader beyond partisan or tribesman. vote wisely it takes five years to correct!!

  28. #24 Peter: I am not thinking in cocoon. You speak hate because you are void of reason. All I was saying was that Copperbelt and Lusaka provinces represent Zambia more than any other place or province. Why? Because these two provinces house Zambians from all parts of Zambia including Kaputa and Shangombo. They are not divided or dominated by one tribe. All tribes find residence in Lusaka and Copperbelt. Stop thinking like a headless chicken and reason. I hate hate because hate begates hate, and I am not part of it. Don’t rush to pass judgement before you analyse a statement. You love for RB or MMD shouldn’t blind you to reason and wisdom. Wake up!

  29. Again people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good article poor analysis from your comments. Don’t discussion individuals or regions. we need real issues to be addressed, e.g who is popular now, who is likely to be the next president, which party has good manifesto,which party has done more ground etc.

  30. On ‘Against this back ground, every peace loving Zambians who are registered voters should indeed turn up in large numbers to cast their votes‘ thanks Times of Zambia but the 2008 elections were simply a presidential by-elections. This 2011 presidential and general elections will be influenced by the MP and Councillor candidates’ input to their party and presidential candidate while the the party presidential candidates will prepapre themselves for the election by campaigning vigorously in all parts of Zambia.

    As for me, it is UPND candidates and HH for President of Zambia in my constituency.
    Matt 6:33

  31. In RSA the ANC has continued to rule, with only change in Leadership. The econmy has expanded greatly since the political power was wrestled from the whites only National(Apartheid) Party. The major contributors to economic expansion has been the opening up of the economy, a new focus to include people that did not participate in economic activity other than consumption and the infrastructure development. RB under MMD has been doing the same, a considerable number of people have become employed compared to the period in the late 1990s. more roads, schools and hospitals. This is what develops a nation and not merely changing the party, most of whom are basically the same recycled politicians under a differnt shade or name such as the PF (UNIP, MMD and now PF).

  32. I dont think people should get into power without working hard. we want those who work hard to achieve their goal, when you work hard you even value what you have achieved. young people should demonstrate how they can reach down to the electrorate, they must sale themselves

  33. There is No PF in western Province, North western, Southern, Eastern, central , part of Northern province(Mpulungu, mbala, Nakonde, Isoka), Part of Copperbelt province(Masaiti,Mpongwe and lufwanyama) Part of lusaka province(Luangwa,Chongwe, Kafue) then how is PF going to Win .Stop day dreamimg and mind you not all the Bembas wii vote for sata.RB has alrready won whether you like it or not.

  34. There we go again. Lets face it Genlemen the Big man is working. I was against him last elections. But look at what is happening. Schools,roads and the most hated mobile hospitals. I shade tears when I watched on ZNBC news regarding a family of 4 blind people receiving sight through mobile hospitals!!!! I asked myself what more do I need. This changed me completed . I’m MMD . Big man you have my vote. Some one is right about change. Zambia has been changing presidents kaunda , chiluba ,mwanawas and now banda. After his second term finishes, we will have another president, thats change.

  35. GILBERTLUBINDA # 41, Please dont talk about eastern province. Ask those who visit rather rather than sit on your computer and say there is no PF here and there. If MMD will win in Chama north and south, Lundazi central and Lumezi, Chadiza you will prove me wrong. Katete will be tough for MMD.Dont take Lusaka as rural areas. I am not PF but I can tell you I know what on the ground in Chongwe, Luangwa and Mpulungu because I travel. Dont dream move with time and visit these places. By the way Masebo is refusing to stand on MMD and shes in Chongwe. Dont take rural areas for granted and watch Barotseland my friend. We love Zambia

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