By Lee Elias Tembo
November 8th, 2012 witnessed by and large another very dramatic by -election, the third in less than 5 years in Mufumbwe constituency of Zambia´s North-Western province.The last parliamentary election was held last year during the 2011 general election which saw the renegade Stephen Masumba (MMD) scooping the seat from UPND´s Eliot Kamondo by a mere margin of 59 votes. Shockingly, this was preceded by another by-election in 2010 following the demise of a sitting parliamentarian and deputy Home Affairs minister, Mr. Misheck Bonshe (MMD) R.I.P.
The Patriotic Front (PF) and it´s parliamentary candidate, Mr.Masumba unreservedly deserves kudos for their triumph in the November 8th by – election. Conjointly, the MMD and it´s “alliance”partner, UPND should be congratulated for accepting defeat and wishing their political opponent, the PF, the very best of luck. That´s the way to go in this era of democratic political dispensation and such rare political maturity should be espoused by all well -meaning and level-headed Zambians. Above all, the people of Mufumbwe constituency should be commended for electing a parliamentary representative of
their choice despite the fact that his moral compass and persona is questionable. Whether they voted wisely or not, posterity shall harshly judge them.
However, getting down to the nitty-gritty – the November, 8th by-election should serve as an eye-opener and a basis upon which the opposition political parties, notably, UPND and MMD, re-evaluate and assess their “alliance” for the benefit of Zambians. Results from the last by-election clearly shows that the MMD is loosing popularity and direction on the ground.
Besides, despite the fact that it´s current number of parliamentarians out number the UPND and other small opposition political parties, it´s future and influence on Zambia´s political scene looks bleak. This without any doubt might have a negative impact on it´s perfomance in the 2016 general elections. If nothing tangible is done to re-brand it´s bad image and restore it´s “glory days” of 1990´s, the party might go into oblivion in no time and the rest
will be history.[pullquote]Results from the last by-election clearly shows that the MMD is loosing popularity and direction on the ground.Besides, the previous failed political “marriage” with the Patriotic Front (PF) in 2010 is just a tip of the iceberg regarding how dangerous certain alliances could be if not given maximum consideration.[/pullquote]
Therefore, given the situation at hand, the UPND should re-assess it´s “alliance” with other political parties vis a vis weaknesses and strength and be wise enough to devise it´s own sound political,social and economic campaign strategies that will not only provide checks and balances to the party in government but also, a basis upon which it could triumph in any possible imminent by-election and most principally, the 2016 presidential and parliamentary election.
Besides, the previous failed political “marriage” with the Patriotic Front (PF) in 2010 is just a tip of the iceberg regarding how dangerous certain alliances could be if not given maximum consideration.
In conlusion, the just ended Mufumbwe by-election sets a clear signal on how difficult it will be for the opposion political parties to win an election if they do not re-evaluate and strengthen their political campaign tactics.