The January 2015 presidential by-election is 9 days away. Most of the 11 presidential candidates have been crossing the country selling their visions and those without visions trying to promote another person’s vision.The main contenders have emerged to be Nevers Mumba of MMD, Edith Nawakwi of FDD, Hakainde Hichilema (HH) of UPND and Edgar Lungu of PF. However, the front runners are HH and Edgar Lungu, and this discussion focuses on these two.

In HH, we have an economist and successful businessman while in Lungu we have a lawyer and serving cabinet minister. HH has now been in public eye since 2006 when he participated in his first election as a presidential candidate. HH also participated in the 2008 and 2011 presidential elections, coming out third in all the elections. On the other hand Lungu came into public eye in 2011 following his appointment as Home Affairs Minister by late president Sata (MHSRIP). So it is fair to say that in terms of public eye Lungu is an unknown quantity. It is also fair to say that the HH we have seen in this by-election is very different from the one who took part in previous elections.

Hakainde Hichilema’s vision

In previous elections, HH was always on the defensive on issues of tribalism, regionalism and his involvement in privatisation. In this election Zambians have clearly not shown interest in tribal and regional gossip. They simply want the best programs for the country and best man for the job.
In his election HH is on the offensive; on attack. HH has been setting the political topics, and winning the argument. HH has set the political topic on:

  • Recognising Chief Chitimukulu and treating our traditional leaders with decency and all the respect they deserve
  • Reinstating fired nurses
  • Lifting Wage freeze
  • Delivering a new constitution before 2016 general elections
  • Reversing the retirement age from 65 to 55 years
  • Paying farmers early and government taking a leading role in agriculture development
  • Reducing price of fuel and electricity
  • Free education
  • Setting a conducive economic and legal (tax) environment that will allow our businesses to thrive and employee our people while improving tax contribution to treasury

Any political agenda you can talk about has been set by HH.

On the other hand we saw Lungu emerge from a bruising PF presidential race where he ended up being selected as opposed to being elected. Lungu publicly declared that he had no vision of his own but follow that of the late president Sata.

HH has always claimed to be a skilled negotiator, and in this election we have seen this skill result in formation of alliances with opposition MPs and leaders. This alliance gave HH renewed confidence to go on attack with confidence in delivery of his vision. We have seen HH address huge rallies in all parts of the country propounding the same message over and over forcing a sitting government to be on the defensive. Usually government dictates the political discussion points but not in this election.

Sata’s vision

Lungu declared that he had no vision of his but to follow that of the late president. But what is this vision;

  • More money in your pocket with 90 days
  • More jobs for the youth within 90 days
  • Firing nurses or civil servants that demand better wages
  • Delayed payments of farmers for their maize sells to government
  • New constitution within 90 days
  • Fighting corruption, starting with Rupiah Banda and his son
  • Infrastructure development with an unplanned debt management
  • Culture of violence by cadres
  • General donchi kubeba

The moment Lungu hit the campaign trail, he realised that the vision of late Sata wasn’t going to help him and he quickly abandoned most of the major policies. Lungu started saying exactly what HH was saying and in the process Lungu has earned himself the nickname “Mr Me Too”

Edgar Lungu’s new vision

Lungu has departed from the vision of president Sata by:

  • Reinstating all fired nurses
  • Promising to recognise the Chief Chitimukulu
  • Promising to lift the wage freeze
  • Promising to reverse retirement age from 65 to 55 years
  • Promising to drop corruption charges against Rupiah Banda

These are major reversals of Sata’s vision, policies or programs

Questions although remain as to why these promises cannot be implemented now. Suffice to say Lungu is the second most powerful man in this government and should be able to use his influence to implement these promises. But as Wynter Kabimba pointed out, Lungu is being held hostage by people around him and is in no position to make decisions of his own. For instance, recognising Chitimukulu will annoy his principal supporter Nkandu Luo who has a private agenda on Chitimukulu.

It was political naivety for Lungu to say that he was going to follow a vision of a dead man. In 2006 we never heard HH say I will follow the vision of late Mazoka (MHSRIP). In any given situation a leader must have a vision, no matter how poor the vision. For instance, Lungu might have said that we have been in government for over three years now and obviously some things have worked for the government while others haven’t. For all those programs that haven’t worked this is what I intended to do, so on and so forth. Lungu appeared to have been looking for a sympathy vote but it hasn’t gone to plan.

In 2008 we saw Rupiah Banda promise to uphold the vision of late president Mwanawasa (MHSRIP) but when he won he quickly abandoned Mwanawasa’s vision. Zambians’ memory is still fresh and are not really in a position to entertain promises of following someone’s vision. Simply put, you cannot be a defender or promoter of another leader’s vision.

There is no doubt that Lungu’s presidential campaign hasn’t gone to plan or to his wish. To say the least, the campaign has been chaotic from organisation, financial and message. The financial aspect appears to have been sorted due to Rupiah Banda’s financial assistance. But RB’s presence has brought another challenge. Genuine PF members are quietly murmuring and questioning the direction that Lungu wants to take the PF. While in public it has again put Lungu on the defensive, this time not from HH but concerned civil society and other political leaders.

On the other hand HH’s campaigns have been well organised and articulated. All campaign teams in all the provinces have the same message; national unity, free education, better economic and business environment, recognise Chitimukulu & respect traditional leaders, remove wage freeze, reversing retirement age from 65 to 55 years and enact new constitution before 2016 elections.

A lot of political commentators have questioned those large crowds at HH’s rallies in Luapula, Northern and Muchinga provinces whether they will translate into votes. With the support of Honourables Katele Kalumba, Felix Mutati, Mutale Nalumango, Mucheleka and GBM, HH will do well. All what HH needs is 3 votes from every 10 votes cast. It is a target achievable and within sight
Given a choice, and I think most of political pundits agree, I would rather be in HH’s position

By Mwela Banda

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53 COMMENTS

    • LT its Sunday, it doesn’t matter if you take a break. Watch a movie, do some laundry. This kind of articles are too cheap.

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    • ‘With the support of Honourables Katele Kalumba, Felix Mutati, Mutale Nalumango, Mucheleka and GBM, HH will do well’…….we can’t be fooled Mwela Banda,we all know that the people you’ve mentioned are just ‘screen savers’ to hide HH’s tribalism. Vote Edgar Lungu.

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    • The truth hurts bane…this election is surely for HH to lose and he will NOT. The hour of liberation is truly in sight.
      Viva HH and UPND

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    • FAKE Mwela Banda. Every Banda worth his salt is supporting EL. By using pseudo name you tonga tribalist do not become an Easterner. More lies one sided picture you present, more we see your ugly face, SOB Tonga hegemonic monsters.

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    • The upnd policies is free this and free that….

      you can grow an economy based on consumption

      one of the most useless articles i have ever read

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    • EL is a candidate on a ruling party stamp which was popularly elected based on a 5 yr vision. PF sold it well and got a seal of public approval. Though change of drivers brings in dynamism, the driver under the same stamp cannot come to do a wholesale discarding of the same vision the party was elected on. He can only do some critical amendments under consensus. This is what EL as PF stamp bearer is giving Zambians not to undo the PF vision.
      HH’s doctrine behind his appointment to the party Presidency, his collaborative/subservience to multinationals remains rejected by the common man commanding 60% of voters. Since 2011, Zambians have consolidated faith in their fellow commoners than elitism. Laundering a few characters in does not sanitize HH from his gene. Underlying issues are deep.

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    • IF THIS ARTICLE WAS SHIFTED FROM LOOKING FAVORABLE TO UPND TO LOOKING FAVORABLE TO MMD, as an example, THE BLOGGERS COMMENTS AND THOUGHTS ON IT WOULD HAVE ALL SHIFTED TO EQUAL OPPOSITE FROM THE CURRENT COMMENTS. THOSE SAYING IT IS “REALITY” Would have called it “FAKE” and those saying it is “FAKE” would have applauded the author. BLOGGERS YOU’RE TOO SENTIMENTAL, YOUR VIEWS ON WHAT IS OK AND NOT OK ARE INFLUENCED BY YOUR PERSONAL ATTACHMENT TO THE CANDIDATES. Your perception of what is good report and what is bad report are tented with biased leanings…

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    • Only those who think using Pangas and Machetes cannot see sense in this article,

      Brilliant analysis Mr M.Banda.

      Your opinion is respected.

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    • SOMETIMES REALITY DEPENDS ON PERSPECTIVE. IF YOU’RE UPND Then it is reality coz it seems to be favourable to you. IF YOU’RE PF then it is fake coz it is written to discredit PF. EVEN The Author looks to be on the UPND side so to him it is reality coz it favours his side. As a neutral bystander I think it is not educative, it is biased. I say so coz PF has done much more better things that even the author is benefiting from that he/she hasn’t included in this article.. For instance, the freedom he has enjoyed in writing lies against the incumbent government in this article…etc

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    • Reality is on the 20th january

      For now we can all but speculate.

      Every boxer bubbles with confidence before the fight until knocked down.

      Its part of the game I suppose.

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    • @Linuxman

      Freedom speech you mean?!

      Mandela was once asked if he owed any gratitude to De Klark for his release from prison. Do you know what his answer was?

      “I ought not have been imprisoned in the first place.”

      Similarly,

      “Zambians ought not have been denied freedom of speech in the first place.”

      In other words, the government simply restored what is already ours. For that we don’t owe no one no iota of gratitude.

      For your information, there are many things the government does to violate our freedoms and our inalienable rights. Galamukani!

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  1. The Nation has decided to make a change based oncredibility of the presidential candidate’s ability to bring sanity in our Mother ZAMBIA without looking at TRIBE.
    Viva Zambia United!

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  2. This is one of the most useless postings I’ve ever seen on LT. The author is just out to de-campaign Edgar Lungu. It’s people like these who want to kill themselves when their candidate loses. 9 days for sure and Edgar is the sixth Republican president. Mukalila bane..????

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  3. We need and we will get a fresh breath of air after the 20 of January 2015 when PF political thugs are kicked out. I can’t believe that people actually voted for such a nightmare govt. I believe now that people have realized that voting on tribal lines is a risk not worth taking. They are resolved to usher in HH and discard punks like Lungu, Sata, Nsanda and luo. It’s so plain you don’t need a crystal ball to see that HH is the obvious choice. I mean even if you are drunk you wouldn’t waste your precious vote on a sickly, visionless, dishonest and unprofessional fellow like Lungu. A man so cheap he would stoop low and help himself to a client’s money. Zambians have now matured. Very Good.

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    • Tu bobo!

      Most of you don’t even know what I just said

      No, dear friend. Not everyone is for sale.

      I wrote a scathing article in form of a letter to Guy Scott and no newspaper, print or electronic, had testicular fortitude to publish it. I surely wish I was paid for it because it was a great piece. But I did it out of the frustrations I had with the uncultured women and disgraceful men in Patriotic Front. They claim this and do the complete opposite.

      What they did and said to Scott during the intra-party scuffles was unclean, to put it mildly. They will eat their words at some point. This I promise you.

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  4. Viva HH. We dot wnt a drunkard,i even feel pity for him coz whr is goin 2 get the money he got from boko haram.

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  5. Good analysis a Banda…This is thebest article I have ever come accross on LT. Keep it up. Nine days to go, Mr Banda put up another one

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  6. One may wonder whether the above story is coming from a media house or a political party spokesperson. Our journalist now have now become more cadre than the actual cadre on the streets. How can an article be published in an inbalanced manner and unfairly reported. I think you reporters are taking us for a ride. It’s high time you changed from yo cadrism type of reporting and stack to yo ethics.

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    • You only call reporters cadres if what they have written or posted does not favour your party or candidate. There have been many articles here on LT that have been imbalanced but you never condemned them till today when the article seems to favour HH and UPND. Be fair.

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  7. Some people are happy to see farmers waiting for their money in january!! any attempts to change the situation is heavily resisted. Whose interests do you represent really? the only constant in life is change!!!!

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    • PF waisted there time by concentrating their campaigns in their stronghold. How did they expect to get any votes from their non strong holds by not campaigning there. Who ever was advising Lungu made a big blunder. PF should have tried their lack in SP, WP, NW and central. How will people vote for a candidate they have never seen? God is great. HH here we go.

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  8. Surely upnd are dictating the pace in these campaigns. There strategy is well thought out and has created panic for pf, whose message now is simply ‘me also’. upnd has raised its stock in pf strongholds of n, l, m, cb & lsk while its has enhanced its grip on its strongholds of s,w &nw. pf would have done better to have weakened this upnd base and then consolidate its strongholds.

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  9. Why do PF supporters respond with anger each time there is an article in favour of HH? Why do they feel wounded?

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    • They are losers. Imagine if it was a face to face debate. They would use pangas. Thank God it is online.

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  10. This is the best article indeed, it deserves a Grammy Award. Can it be compared to Emmanuel Mwamba’s rubbish who just writes untruths? Mwamba is so disollutioned in that he is the only one who cant see violence, oops!!! I will have a hot cup cup of coffee at Tim Hortons and end with a glass of wine and my hide-out to conclude my weekend. More pop corns.

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  11. I have been told there is a new slogan on the social media: “Ifintu ni Lungu, Kateka ni Hichilema”. Am in love with this slogan. Would love to meet the person who coined it for a special present. Countdown, 9 days more before Boko Haram comes after those who borrowed their money and fail to fulfill the promise. Ala ama deals, wina azalila. This reminds me of Ronald Penza!! Just thinking aloud.

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  12. Well written, thanks, the author, fyayamba uku China Infiniti, Ba chomba bakana, igniting no lungi, I like it “Kateka” ni HH , forward with flight HH about to land

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    • You are still alive, tribalist? I thought you were dead!
      Just in case you did not know, we moved on.
      No more tribalism, no more!
      No more pangas, no more!

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  13. What Spongebob means is that,in journalism the first ethic will obviously be not to favour anyone.As a journalist he should not favour either HH or EL but give a balanced report he should not disadvantage anyone.

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    • The article brought out the truth. Why should a journalist do a fake analysis in the name of balancing. A spade is not a big spoon. You will regret less if you vote HH because you will be part of the celebrating team come 23rd. Any way it is not too late. Vote HH.

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    • @ john k which journerism do know? The truth has to be told. Just come up with your own article if u know anything about journerism. Lt is always a balanced media. Visionless is the right term for those without any of their own.
      EL is confusing us. He says has no vision, he will use Sata’s vision but he is undoing it. He has become visionless. He must have many visions.
      2015 has become hot for all parties.

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  14. You can write a million articles and not even 0.001% will read it or change their minds of voting for PF in rural zambia!then even us in towns who have seen this rubbish wont hate PF -NEVER!! THEN YOUR HH CANT GET 3 VOTES AT EACH POLLING STATION IN MANY PF STRONGHOLDS!ITS A DAYLIGHT DREAM-EASIER SAID THAN ACHIEVED!your HH got 1 700 from whole Luapula so he wont get even 15 000!2 900 from Northern and muchinga, he cant get 20 000 from there! 10 000 from eastern,he wont get 40 000 now.THE REALITY IS TO HARSH FOR HH ON THE GROUND!he will come out second to Edgar Lungu(PF) now and far third to PF in 2016!

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  15. We are not here to read notes vision or no vision lungu is wining. HH is just using Bembas like katele to remove a tribe tag. Just go ahead with your fake opinion polls.

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  16. One thing I would tell all of you is that all of the candidates have done a lot of work and anyone can take it.But the truth still remains that EL is more popular this is what we have on the ground,and that’s why we are seeing all these propaganda from the opposition.How would one talk about swearing in ceremony before election it means there is fear in him. The PF has delivered well atleast they have shown us the commitment.Let’s give credit where it’s due,thank you!

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  17. THIS ORGANIZATION IS OF THE VIEW THAT THERE IS DEMOCRACY IN PF. WHICH RECNT CONVEBTION ELECTED HH TO STAND IN THIS BY ELECTION OR EVEN IN 2011 GENERAL ELECTIONS. THERE IS A SYNDROME OF WAMUYAYA (FOREVER) WITH HH.
    HH IS NURSED LIKE A BABY IN UPND. DOES HE UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MEANS TO DEAFT INTERNAL WRANGLES? EDGAR HAS BEEN POLISHED AND MADE TO MATURE IN POLITICS. THE DAY HH IS GOING TO FACE INTERNAL WRANGLES HE IS JUST GOING TO DEVELOP DIARRHIOR. THIS ORGANIZATION VIEWS EDGAR AS A VERY STRONGMAN.THE LADY INONGE AND OTHERS MUST BE COMMENDED FOR STANDING UP TO DEFEND THE PARTY FROM THE WOLVES.
    THE ORGANIZATION VIEWS GUY SCOT AS A VERY USELESS LEADER IN THE PF. HIS PLANS TO HIJACK THE PARTY AND HAND IT OVER TO THE CARTEL FAILED HENCE CRAWLED BACK TO EDGAR’s TEAM AND JOINED. HE IS THE MOST…

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  18. I have just read the article by M Banda and subsequent comments. of interest is that Banda is being attacked for things he or she has not said. M Banda has not insulted anybody or said anything tribal about anybody. However, people are taking very angry and tribal reactions. I personally don’t agree with this article, which in many ways has been intelligently written. I will also respond with an intelligent article to counter this article and I hope Lusaka Times will publish it. Natural justice demands so. UPND cadres always argue that they are more intelligent and the best thing to do is counter them with similar intelligent articles. Angrily accusing them of tribalism will not help our PF cause

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  19. The questions I want to ask are: Does Lungu or anyone else need to have his own vision? Isnt he supposed to follow the vision of the party? When a CEO is employed by a company its not necessary for him/her to have an opposing vision for the company rather to share the existing vision. For a vision to be meaningful it has to be shared. The above article is extremely biased and lacks water.

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