Probability of success


By Gray Soko

The perseverance of the PF since its inception in 2001 has finally paid off. It must also be to its credit that it understood how the average person thinks. Whilst others tried to trivialize PF’s messages of “more money in your pockets” or “lower taxes” as simplistic and intellectualized the growth in GDP/GNP, single digit inflation rates, economic growth rates, Direct Foreign Investments, foreign reserves etc the PF’s message was about the basic needs and challenges of the people. In a country with very high poverty and unemployment levels, this message found resonance with the people and they voted accordingly.

The PF’s perseverance and momentum can be seen from its growth in popularity from the 2001 elections when it won only one(01) parliamentary seat against MMD’s sixty nine (69); in 2006 it increased the number of seats to forty three (43) against MMD’s seventy three (73) and in 2011 won sixty six (66) beating MMD’s fifty five (55).This momentum has been “like the tension of a bent crossbow, its timing like the pulling of the trigger” ( Sun Tzu’s strategy).

You cannot do the same thing that has failed, ie. fragmentation, and expect a different outcome in 2016

The PF went through scathing media attacks and challenges especially from the public media, mostly targeting the personality of its leadership rather than its vision. The PF also suffered dissentions, notably from the so-called rebel members of parliament. However, it managed to protect itself and survive long enough for the opportunity to present itself as a prospective next government in the September elections.

As for the UPND and the “small parties” ( Heritage, FDD, ADD, Narep, ZED ) the message should be clear that they should seriously consider their probability of success as individual parties. The UPND has dropped to third place in parliamentary seats since the late Mazoka. UPND and the “small parties” should only join battle when there is a probability of winning and be courageous enough to retreat without shame if the battle is unwinnable. The ‘grand coalition” which was mooted by General Miyanda rather late in the day should be nurtured now if there is to be a unified opposition or credible alternative government in waiting. You cannot do the same thing that has failed, ie. fragmentation, and expect a different outcome in 2016 and beyond. There are brilliant persons in these parties and they should critically assess their opportunities and weaknesses in order that they add value to our democracy and governance.

In his farewell speech RB called on the MMD not to be disheartened and that it should reflect on any mistakes it may have made and learn from them. He cautioned that if this was not done, the MMD did not deserve to contest for power again. Quite obviously the MMD will be under post traumatic stress for some time to come especially after its massive election campaign and favourable media and poll predictions of victory based on “economic growth” which many believe has not trickled down to the people. There is also the possibility of MMD going the UNIP way and being relegated to political history.


  1. “The PF went through scathing media attacks and challenges especially from the public media” i thought that includes you, LT!

  2. In Sata we seem to have the only person who has wanted to be president for this country Chiluba, Levy and RB all presidos by default. Maybe he might just prove some of us wrong since he is doing something he has wanted to do.

  3. @ 3 i agree with u, much sense…he said it himself that i can not serve any position below Presidence..his been Minister even without Portfolio..His a man Indeed. He reminds me of Abraham [email protected] 2 Lets remind LT about it…infact i want LT to republish the article for 1 St April….It Makes Sense Now…lets have it.

  4. Bang on Gray! I followed your articles in the run upto elections. If I remember very well, you may have been one of the very few who said the truth (I may be wrong).

    I personally wouldn`t want to see MMD relegated to political history but the worry is these rats will try by all means to jump ship (African Politics). They are left without a leader. They just can`t appoint someone to take over. They have to find money to go to Mulungushi. But because they have never been here before I can see power struggle with more people getting frustrated and resigning. What a shame!

    But then again everything that goes up must come down.

  5. I remember an article in the Lusaka Times a couple of weeks ago detailing how PF would take an early lead as polling results came out but MMD would recover and then take the lead. The article in all fairness was very biased and vindictive too. It was blatent that the LT was pro MMD. Please in future can the Lusaka Times not compromise themselves in that manner. It’s sad and sickening, because when you do things like this, you are just as bad as the corrupt people you very often report about. “Ubu nibu muselela kwa kaba”!!!

  6. UPND is actually down in percentage votes since 2006. Only a fool can say HH is improving in popularity when figures are there for all to see. Wake up UPND. Be realistic. HH won’t win you fortunes, am telling you


  8. HH learn from Sata there is no harm in learning….wait and evaluate the needs of the youths of that time in 2021 and beyond to be president of our beloved=loved country or else quit!!!!!

  9. UPND should change its name,expel HH and look for non tonga leaders.With current status quo, even 2016 will elude them.

  10. Fellow Zambians.
    I have one comment that I intend to continue posting. The solution to our economic problems lies in our constitution. WE NEED A HEAD OF STATE AND A HEAD OF GOVERNMENT. The current arrangement puts the president above all citizens. HERE is the SOLUTION. A head of government who is a politician shall be elected by the people. He shall be responsible for the day to day functions of government. A head of state who shall be one of our paramount chiefs on a six year rotational basis shall be in charge of all state functions, the army and the police. This will ensure the protection of all citizens regardless of their political affiliation. Here lies the solution. Everything else will fall in place. LET US DEMAND FOR THIS IN THE NEXT 90 DAYS.

  11. I am the saddest person to have lunatics ruling us. Its a shame most of the voters in Zambia are illiterate and can’t see beyond their stomachs. Hope the cobra will be sobre minded otherwise we are done. And what is it about ruling with catholic principles? Is every Zambian Catholic better on biblical principles Mr. Snake.

  12. We shouldn’t allow the MMD to fall completely. I think it will be great to keep them going, good for our democracy. I blame RB for just quiting like that. correctly as he said that he was going to retire, he should have first assisted his party to elect a party leader to succeed him. Only after then should he have completely retired from Politics. How do you just ditch a party that pushed you for the Presidency like that? So for RB, the MMD was only his party when he was President. As soon as he was defeated, the MMD bacame irrelavant. Frankly, the MMD still has a set of brilliant people, one Felix Mutati who to my opinion, are far visionary and intelligent than the pompous HH. So if they stopped the stupidy which saw them loose people such as Ngandu Magande and others credible guys, 

  13. Congrats to His excellency Micheal Chilufya Sata, Mr President you Deserve the Seat. As for HH, stop being proud and experiece politics by standing as an MP in your village. your pride has paid you off. you should have been coached well by his excellency. to be frank with you, Sata is Zambias Obama so your political career is dead. you could brag about your age but sorry the young Brilliant Ellias Chipimo is coming up so no chance. Viva Pf for equitable share in our countries resources!!!!!!!!!!1

  14. They may still have a realistic chance to bounce back. I am steel encouraging RB to come back and help his party to elect a new leader. They need him in this difficult time. We shouldn’t allow MMD to die. We need them for the sake of our democracy. Otherwise, it might get even more difficult to remove the PF government from power once they realise that loosing the Presidency could also denote the end of their Political party

  15. Good article. It must be observed also that there was a ground swell discontent by Zambians. PF alone was not the main driving factor. Compare with 1991. people wanted change at any cost, didnt matter who came in for as long as Kk and UNIP left. Shortages of even basic items like sugar, salt, soap degraded people’s lives. These 2011 elections were probably more of a people’s revolution than a PF persuation and articulation of what they were offering. When people want change, those who ride on it always benefit. This is where veteran politicians like Sata who have seen such political winds position themselves to profit and rookies like HH fail to read the times. MMD also failed to see the change in generations from 1991 to 2011.

  16. RB was never for MMD as much as he was for the seat of power. Let them just start with fresh blood. RB is the main cause of their demise in the first place. They have better chances if they dissociate from this selfish dictatorial looter. Myself, I am pro-Zambia, and as such I am giving the government of the day an opportunity, as well as listening to other brains that may not be in the ruling party but have things to say. I must say, though, that I have always wanted to try Sata’s leadership since PF was formed.

  17. There is no need to for UPND to change its name or leader. Sata was loosing elections before now but no one demanded to change the name and to put a non Bemba to leader so whats your case? Is power a preserve of one grouping? That is recipe for civil war and alot of people are discontent so watch out what you say it might just trigger a spark.

  18. Michael Sata’s legacy is that an individual politician can form a party and after several attempts, become president of the country on the ticket of the party he formed. Undoubtedly, many are following that legacy. The reality is that, not all politicians are made equal. Michael Sata is one of a kind. For an average politician, this is a toll order. A better way to succeed is for a group of politicians to come together and form a national party, the MMD style. This is what the small parties of today should do, otherwise, they will still be the small parties of tomorrow, ever learning and never getting wise!

  19. @23 MIMI – Love them of hate them,Northerners will always have a big influence on who rules zambia.KK dribles drunk Nkumbula in 64,FTJ takes over in 91,FTJ imposes LPM on MMD in 2001,FTJ and his persecuted tandem propels RB in 2008, and in 2011 another Northerner takes over from RB.And for your info, HEMCS will handover power to another Northerner in 2021.(chipimo,mutati etc)

  20. Where is the Senior Citizen? I used to enjoy reading some of his comments: “Sata will never be president”, “Zambians cannot vote for Sata” etc.

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