President Edgar Chagwa Lungu at Chichcele Presidential Lodge on Saturday,February 7,2015.PICTURE BY SALIM HENRY/STATE HOUSE
President Edgar Chagwa Lungu at Chichcele Presidential Lodge on Saturday,February 7,2015.PICTURE BY SALIM HENRY/STATE HOUSE

Just past the hour, the motorcade passed the gates to a tumultuous welcome. Edgar Lungu, dressed in a blue suit and a matador tie, stepped out of the Mercedes that had transported him to the Heroes Stadium, and with a twinkle in his eye, acknowledged a sea of fists, a symbol of his party. Bemusement overawed the feel of triumph. He had not anticipated the events that had culminated in him becoming Zambia’s sixth president. It had never been his aspiration to become one.
Coming on the heels of the closest contested presidential election in the country, and surviving plots hatched by members of his own party, he knew he was treading on thin ice. He could feel it in the soles of his shoes. Even as the crowd roared in ecstasy, the Patriotic Front party, salvaged by 27,757 souls was an insidious smoldering coal. Lungu was dying to go on the podium and extinguish the fire.

With calculated steps he got there. Before he sat on the pedestal he did another fist pump. The backbone of the nation roared again. It comprised largely of the laborious poor—the impoverished, embittered, and repulsed people; a people that, for years, have remained unskilled, living on meager wages and barely surviving. Many having eaten porridge for breakfast, left their ramshackle dwellings, bussed as they were by the PF.

A few souls away Lungu’s nemesis contained his animosity. Their fight over the instruments of power had been ferocious—often bare-knuckled and eye gouging to the extent the poor Acting President was now left in a pool of blood with a severed jugular vein. On the dais he remained inconspicuous. He was himself to blame. He has gone beyond his call of duty, taken sides, and overstepped acceptable presidential-moral boundaries. During the campaign, he stumped grudgingly and unenthusiastically, forcing Lungu to turn to Rupiah Banda for help, in a move unprecedented.

Lungu knew the fight was not over. A battered foe is always folly. He perceived the defeated AP-led Walusungu Guesthouse cabal as scorpions in the bottle—pretended-comrades with hatchets in their overcoats. They included Miles Sampa, the fledgling aspirant who wanted it so badly he sprinted to the Supreme Court like Pheidippides, the Greek dispatcher who ran from Athens to Marathon to alert his people of the approaching enemy and died upon his message. He, too was in the midst, hanging around in the fringes of power.
When time came for Lungu to deliver his maiden speech he wasted no time in extending an olive branch to the PF people he had trounced:

“There is no room, let alone time for rancor or settling scores of any kind,” he said, and later added. “The journey was sometimes acrimonious and fractious, as we tried to find middle ground as a family…”
No kidding! The PF had not only become fractious, it had become cataclysmic. In other words, it was catastrophic. Lungu himself had provoked a howl of outrage when he co-opted RB into his campaign with no regard for party values. By doing so, he had exposed the supposedly impregnable PF and rendered it vulnerable. Its most devoted members were infuriated beyond redemption. To suddenly see Lungu palling with Banda on the PF stage in a sort of modus vivendi was an insult to them and their departed leader. They regarded Lungu’s divisive maneuver as nothing less than treachery.

“How dare he!” Under all sorts of breaths they called him names—Judas, conspirator, Benedict Arnold, sellout. They said he was an un-charismatic political dilettante unworthy the presidency. Even as he spoke they said he was a president-by-chance who could not stand alone; a leader at the antipodes; a man with no vision therefore of small ability. And yet in hopeless discord they watched and listened to him speak:

“I’m stepping in the shoes of a giant man,” he said. “A man who was our torch bearer and symbol of our party’s vision of a robust transformative development agenda, which in the last three years had moved our country forward and created a momentum which we must accelerate…President Sata’s legacy will forever be our beacon of inspiration.”

The architects of the PF scoffed at the obdurate potency of mischief. Lungu, who had joined them in later times from UPND, had caught them sleeping at the wheel, snatched the “shoes” from their grasp and taken over the party reins. When they opened their eyes, they were at Heroes Stadium watching him put them on and tighten the laces. Seated in despondency some were already planning how to reclaim the party come next year while others were on their way out.

As for Scott, it was strongly rumored he had a foot in Wynter Kabimba’s Rainbow Party. If true, the ice under Lungu’s feet was razor thin. Like the Rainbow Nation of South Africa, a term coined by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Kabimba’s party was intended to “encapsulate the unity of multiculturalism and the coming together of people of different colors.” It was a party that if elected would do away with the so-called parental clause, a good fit for Scott whose defection would take a good chunk of the PF.

At the podium Lungu continued:

“We must remain true to the vision of our founding fathers…

Seated next to Kenneth Kaunda was Zimbabwe’s Robert Gabriel Mugabe. Since the passing of Michael Sata the Zimbabwean president, regarded by the West as a dictator, had become Zambia’s head honcho, calling shots from his Harare palace. Some said he had been keeping an eagle’s eye on Scott. It was clear in the eyes of many that Lungu had turned to him because he did not have a conceptualized vision of his own on which to set goals that would command his thoughts, liberate his mind, and inspire the hopes of every Zambian.

Actually, Lungu’s lack of a vision was evident in his speech in which he mentioned the term “vision” twice and in both cases alluded to a vision other than his. Each time he referred to himself, he talked about his “strategy.” Perhaps he does not understand what the term means. A vision is different from a strategy, purpose, and mission. Simply put a vision is a dream with a plan and a deadline. A vision is what enables a leader to change the course of a country and the thinking of its people. It comes with new ideas that are inspiring, executable, and achievable. In the end it leaves a legacy. The destiny of a country depends on the vision of its leader.

To seek Mugabe’s vision is to lamentably fail; it is to embrace unpopular, undemocratic, perilous, and archaic policies and possibilities that could turn Zambia into a Zimbabwe. It is to endorse Mugabe’s dictatorial rule and human rights violations. Like is often said, no one is less prepared for tomorrow than a leader who holds the vision of another. Being president is to possess own acumen and skill.

It was under these unfortunate circumstances that Lungu accepted the presidency. Give him credit; in his speech he was warm and comforting. Aping the wit of his predecessor, he spoke with oracular apostrophe. He talked metaphorically about a good meal, a roof on head and other issues that resonated with the needs and desires of the people in the terraces. And like so many times in the past, they fell for the carrot and stick. When he had finished, they exploded beyond decibel level. They didn’t care about the “vision thing.” Prone to demagoguery they would vote for him again based on his tribe and trinkets. After all, they have been doing it for years. With this in mind, Lungu jumped in the Mercedes Benz and drove off, on thin ice.

By Field Ruwe
Field Ruwe is a US-based Zambian media practitioner, historian, author, and a doctoral candidate. Learn more about him on his website www.aruwebooks.com. On it you shall access his autobiography, articles, and books. Contact him, blog, or join in the debate. ©Ruwe2012.
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62 COMMENTS

    • People that voted lungu didn’t vote for him because they thought he had the tennes and knowhow on how to lead the nation

      I wish him well and hope he proves me wrong.

      I just don’t like the fact that, he initially denied he ever wanted to be the president. The fact that he claims he is accelerating Sata’s vision. The fact that he colluded with Wina and rewarded her.

      The support from Lungu emanated from 3 sources:

      1) Those who abore HH and UPND

      2) Those that had hoped, they hang on to corrupt deeds( Chikwanda, Kambwili, etc, are people that never liked Lungu to start with)

      3) Those that wanted anyone on PF ticket.

      I dont like the way he handled the man he deported 2 years ago as Home A Minister only to realise it was foolhardy.

      Thanks
      BB 14

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    • The article is well written and structured. It is good for patient readers like Wanzelu, Mushota and others.

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    • GIVE HIM A CHANCE TO PROVE HIMSELF, IT’S TOO EARLY TO PASS CONCLUSIVE JUDGEMENTS. MUGABE MAY BE A DICTATOR BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN ALL ADVICE HE CAN GIVE ARE OF A DICTATORIAL NATURE. ACTUALLY NO MAN SEEKS ADVICE IN EVERY MATTER BUT ONLY ON SPECIFICS & I DON’T THINK DICTATORSHIP WAS ANY PART OF THE SPECIFICS.

      NOTE: ZIM WAS UNDER U.S SANCTIONS YET THEIR OIL WAS CHEAPER THAN ZAM’S, HOW DID THEY DO IT? IMAGINE SUCH IDEAS IMPLEMENTED IN A COUNTRY WITHOUT ANY SANCTIONS IMPOSED!!

      ZAMBIANS MAY BE “WISER” THAN MUGABE BUT CAN STILL LEARN FROM THE FALSELY ACCUSED “F00LISH” MUGABE:

      A wise man can learn more from a f00lish question than a f00l can learn from a wise answer. – Bruce Lee

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    • I scrolled down only to see ruwe name and did not even bother to read it. oxygen thief get a life, not the one your wife has given you.

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    • So his been gathering all this Trush from the online media e.g. zwd. I thought the writer was based in Zambia. Sorry man.

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    • There is way one reads academically written pieces my dear fellow! This article had everything in it, carefully placed for all to understand; with or without abilities lol! Again a good read Fred…Keep it up mudala!!

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    • Whilst I agree with most of what Field Ruwe has written I would like to state that I disagree with the statement that “Lungu, who had joined them in later times from UPND, had caught them sleeping at the wheel, snatched the “shoes” from their grasp and taken over the party reins. ”
      On that statetment I wish to defend EL. Pres Lungu never had ambitions to be president. It was this so called “ANOINTED ONE” rhetoric which some PF senior members used and “FORCED” him to take over the PF presidency. I think some PF senior members thot he would be easy to control, he has proved them right but it is not them controlling. Some senior PF members are paying heavily for the role they played to help him ascend to power. This should be a lesson to all cheaters and bullies out there.

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    • @Tiko tiko, I was reading started getting bored, then when I got almost to where it could show the writer I saw the lunatic who wrote it, I just ended up there. This Economic Refuge should either shut up and enjoy the little money he has made from his books writing stupid things about Zambia, he has never supported any leader of our country but criticize them. He is a fool who thinks he is highly educated to tell the leaders of our country what to do and yet he can not even come home to contribute to the development of our mother zambia. Field Ruwe my foot. Grandpa my advise to you if you want to gain respect, go back home and help, you have said enough and let me use this word, you have educated a lot of our leaders it’s time for you to go and join them smart ashole.

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    • Sometimes Mushota; you do need to be focused. This is a very good article and very true to the point.

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    • A wise person is the one who appreciates others. A foolish person only appreciates what she/he wants. So Ruwe it is not about you and what you only. Zambia is too big for you and you wanting. Respect others and you will be respected. People voted right or wrong respect the wish of the majority that is the beauty of democracy. We read enough trash from you on late Sata’s administration. Please if you want your party to win can and help them to campaign. It won’t help you there. COME BACK AND CAMPAIGN WE WANT YOU 2016. You will continue to be misled by on line media.

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    • Excellent article. We have an incapable president who is now secretly turning to shady characters like Moses Katumbi for direction. The head of state of DRC is supposed to meet Kaminamisa Lungu first, not a simple governor

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    • There is way one reads academically written pieces my dear fellow! This article had everything in it, carefully placed for all to understand; with or without abilities, that includes you lol!!

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    • True. I wished these guys were at home to see what is happening in the country of choice at the moment. Ask any foreign visitor outside Zambia who has been to Zambia of late. They will tell you how there are enjoying the peace, love and harmony in our country. Worse, they brag of making huge profit margins that they cannot make in their own countries. Noise makers in the diaspora are being mislead by other on-line media houses. Its not fair to them. Whilst foreigners are prospering we Zambians are busy wasting time complaining about ourselves. Shame Ruwe, Shame.

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    • @ Miya

      Before shaming messenger, at least try to read and understand.

      As to the “… enjoying the peace, love and harmony in our country…” can you also add sentence about enjoying corruption, nepotism, police brutality, hunger, destitution, lack of medical facilities, lack of medicines, high cost of living…………………..

      If somebody should be ashamed, it is you and those who you blindly support.

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  1. What a talented writer! Well articulated and I could not stop reading. Well as for the vision we could apply critical theory and depart from the norm. Leadership is a multifaceted phenomenon and has eluded a lot of people. I am really impressed with your suppositions. Keep it up and there is no doubt that your PhD has coherent epistemological and ontological orientations! I look forward to reading your thesis/dissertation.

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  2. This “novel”is going around in circles making no valid points.

    Its clear to see that Eddie is meticulously working to ensure the Nation and the PF remain progressive peaceful and united.
    Let’s all wait just a little longer,the results will be plain for all to see.

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    • Look at the picture and then repeat “…Its clear to see that Eddie is meticulously working to ensure the Nation and the PF remain progressive peaceful and united…”

      Bigot

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  3. Field Ruwe should also write for the poor. The ones he described as coming from rumshackles having eaten porridge for breakfast. They wont be able to get much from this article.

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  4. Ruwe is failing to understand what obtained in Zambia for the by-election to be held.My understanding is that the man is an intellectual to know how a vision is built.Who in PF could claim to have a vision if he/she was a candidate?A vision is carried by one person and shared to others who carry it on.Pf vision is what E.L. is carrying on.

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  5. No time to wast on reading this! All i know is Eddie is not treading on thin ice! Useless article by Up and Down, bitter ruwe field

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  6. This is terrible writing. It reads like a sneer. Pompous, full of self regarding idiocy. It’s signed ‘Historian.’ A mention of…..PhD endeavours……. Lord Help Us!

    A Zambian disease. People abroad exercising their intellect…..mostly because of an inferiority complex.

    Firstly he is derogatory to the poor in his description. Grindingly poor people who live on meagre rations. I expect he has not been ‘downtown’ USA where people live in housing projects and scrape to make a dollar. Everything is always wrong in Zambia…..!

    On His Excellency, he begun hazily, building a ‘story’ of skulduggery, Guy Scott et al. Then in a flash, he stole the concept of ‘lacking Vision,’ it sort of comes out of Left Field and flashes past to…..nowhere!

    No point. Visionless…

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  7. Then in a flash, he stole the concept of ‘lacking Vision,’ it sort of comes out of Left Field and flashes past to…..nowhere!

    No point. Visionless writing!

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  8. Zambian reading culture is very poor; someone fails to finish reading the article and they brag about it…kuti wapapa..muletusebanya bamumbwe mwebo!!!

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  9. The article is useless as it has no points. The writer has been going in circles instead of just saying he hates PF and he is bitter to see Lungu in state house instead of HH. Shame on you.

    Peace and Prosperity to Mother Zambia.

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  10. Mwana just come back and help develop our old town! By the way all presidents tread on thin ice! It’s not a simple job & sometimes I wonder why people fight for this office

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  11. It is food for the intelligent minds, more so for those minds that are not biased, but looking for serious meanings of why certain things happen the way way they do. Apparently in Zambia we have very few minds of such agression, more so for those in the respective parties as they are called as CADRES. Lungu hasd put a hedgemon through the entire party core. A lot of some very senior members of the party are left with their mouths ajur; seeing no routes out of the quandery the party is in. In the mean tme LUNGU sails on without regard to those so desperately looking forward to some positive response from him. Alas to say, so far he has come it is business as usual, those in slumber will remain sleeping; ZAMBIA IS ON THE MOVE TO ANOTHER LEVEL OF POLITICKING. Come 2016, it will be different g

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    • Right on, my brother! This article is not for the mentally handicapped and biased. I am not surprized at the majority of the commentary here because it’s a chronic Zambian disease – mental laziness. We always want someone to think and do things for us. The language of reactive people always absolves them of responsibility.

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  12. Article yaisa yapitilila kwati ni hulya humbi huwa pitilile pa state house…
    Some are busy working, consulting and looking for solutions while others (perpetual online prowls living in foreign lands on student visas) continue spewing out millions of directionless words. That’s life in 21st Century Zambia! You simply choose what makes sense for you. As for me, ifintu ni Lungu!

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  13. Author just an academician. Has no known leadership experiences. After all, it is easier and common to criticize from the terraces than to deliver on the pitch!!! Ifintu ni Lungu; it’s his season. Wait for yours, if at all it will come!
    And by the way, I am a staunch supporter of MMD idealogy [of Capitalism/Private Enterprise] which is being adopted by all ‘rebel’ parties calling themselves by different names, except for unpopular UNIP [Socialism/Humanism], Heritage [Village Whatever], or Greens [Chemical Potency of a misconstrued herb]. The rest compete for recognition using different names and constituting different personalities.

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  14. why not just use simple English. !! did u invent any of thoze bombastics. if u finished this article, u surely had nothing better to read

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  15. There is nothing that this fool Ruwe has written. He thinks by mentioning he is US based his article will have authority. What nonsense. We have lived in UK, USA and Canada. We know what you go through, working like dogs cleaning toilets, cleaning anuses of the discarded sick and doing four jobs per day just to live there. We know how easy it is to buy a PHD degree in USA and UK. We are aware of how you forge life experience based PHD’s into academically obtained certificates. So please spare our time.
    Your definition of a vision just shows how narrow you are. What ever you want to say Vision is simply Where and HOW to get THERE. Listing of intentions is NOT vision like HH was parroting. Get this to your head. If HH is your choice sorry he lost. You Stupid ass. I

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  16. I always finish reading his article so as to fatten my reading ability nd meeting new and big words the way I enjoy Honarable Mpombo’s big words. Ruwe has been a comedian back in the old days nd he ws once a Maboys worked for ZNBC worked in Kenya nd back in Zambia nd went to setle in th USA. So such pipo at one point felt hurt nd neva loved to liv in Zambia hence he can’t suport ths current govt. And he doesn’t lik MMD neitha PF but the other UnPositioNeD so my challenge to Bo RUWE is y are u Hurt wen u left us in zambia I thing Alex Muliokela has more courage than u in diaspora come back home nd form yo own part I’ll wud lov to be yo die hard member.

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  17. Very boring article without any substance. All who supporting it are supporters of HH. It is better to throw it in the trash.
    No matter how sophisticated you try to portray your useless article, people believe in simplicity, and that is to trust a simple man, EL. Is it PF which brought poverty?

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  18. Whilst I agree with most of what Field Ruwe has written I would like to state that I disagree with the statement that “Lungu, who had joined them in later times from UPND, had caught them sleeping at the wheel, snatched the “shoes” from their grasp and taken over the party reins. ”
    On that statetment I wish to defend EL. Pres Lungu never had ambitions to be president. It was this so called “ANOINTED ONE” rhetoric which some PF senior members used and “FORCED” him to take over the PF presidency. I think some PF senior members thot he would be easy to control, he has proved them right but it is not them controlling. Some senior PF members are paying heavily for the role they played to help him ascend to power. This should be a lesson to all cheaters and bullies out there.

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  19. Although I was very young, I used to suspect Ruwe was Zimbabwian going by his complexion and mannerisms.

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  20. My Open Letter to all the Zambians,
    The Politicians have said that they will deliver to the People of Zambia a People delivered Constitution.Please demand that the Following be in the New Zambian Constitution;
    1.Term Limits for Members of Parliament to 10 years for a person’s life time.
    2.Term Limits for the Councillor to 10 years for a person’s life time.
    3.The Mayor will be elected by the People in the town not by a cartel of 15-30 Councillors and the term limit for the Mayor will be 10 years for a person’s life time.
    4.The Chief Justice will be appointed by Parliament
    5.Judge on the Bench in High Court and Supreme Court will be appointed by Parliament.
    It is a shame in a country of almost 14 million people that the same people continue to be Members of Parliament forever.Wake…

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  21. Dear Mr Field Luwe,
    You subjective writing and skewed interpretation of issues speaks volumes. Through your insistence of “Vision” you have revealed just how ignorant you are about colective envisioning. Your selection of a photo in which HE is playng pool is hell bent in that you want to potray a playful president who is busy wasting tax payers’ money, thereby creating an enemy of the people. You have deliberately presented the president as a crook and a thief who has stolen the presidency from PF founding members (as if PF is personal to order). In so doing, you show your true colours, you represent a class of people who believe in the founders’ sysndrome – a phenomenon which has run down numerous institutions and propagates anarchy. My advise to you is ..

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  22. Dear Mr Field Luwe,
    My advise to you is please confine your opinions to the area of your competence – history or is it journalism and not Logic or Metaphysics. By the way, when you start getting closer to PhD, your cognitice functions must rise above hatred or diminitive thinking about other human beings. At that level you must be seen to be a solution provider rather than a prophet of darkness. When you are back home, I will be very happy to engage you into discussions that fall in areas of common interest so that I get to understand your true being. I say so because something tells me the motivation for your writing is founded on fallacious epistomology. Your paradigm of reasoning is equally ill defined.

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  23. Edgar Lungu, dressed in a blue suit and a matador tie, stepped out of the Mercedes that had transported him to the Heroes Stadium, and with a twinkle in his eye, acknowledged a sea of fists, a symbol of his party.

    In regarding to this sentiment, ECL came driving into the heroes Stadium in his Land-cruiser as the Minster of Defence, Justice minister and the PF CEO

    From your friends in Livingstone 2015

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  24. It was diabolical election for him since it was stolen from HH. Pf riggers were busy robbing votes from HH, it’s painful to be robbed! One day those pf robbers will reap what they sowed. Lunch never won.

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  25. Quite some reflection for any PF insider. For instance, how much of a dent, if any, will the new Rainbow Party have on the PF? Considering that a good section of PF insiders have, evidently been screwed-up, a significant fall-out in 2016 is not inconceivable.

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