3 Completely Wrong Things UPND and PF Are Fighting About

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President Lungu greets UPND president Hakainde Hichilema during the memorial service of the Late President Michael Chilufya Sata at St Ignatius Catholic Church in Lusaka
FILE: President Lungu greets UPND president Hakainde Hichilema during the memorial service of the Late President Michael Chilufya Sata at St Ignatius Catholic Church in Lusaka

Quibbling from their win, PF leaders have begun infighting, while UPND has been wasting time and monetary resources on the defunct Cons-Court system. Problem is, both the incumbent part-PF and supposedly major opposition party-UPND are in-outfighting about the wrong things, based on the wrong assumptions.

1.UPND unending legal Wrangles v. Visionless PF

The structural and moral leadership weakness of both PF and UPND burst open after the August 11, 2016 elections. UPND pundits are still blaming HH’s loss on election rigging, arguing that PF machinery stole victory from HH. On the other hand, PF pundits claim that HH lost because he didn’t focus enough on winning votes in PF strongholds. I will leave that to both UPND and PF pundits to debate the merit of the winner/loser. However, what I do know is that both UPND and PF have completely abandoned addressing the concerns of ordinary Zambians. UPND wasted the entire 2016 adjudicating presidential election results, while PF wasted 2016 pirouetting dununa reverse without a clear and strategic plan on solving economic and social issues like ending load shedding, youth unemployment and maintaining price stability of commodities.

To me the whole UPND outfighting Con-Court and PF leadership infighting is misguided and strategic blunders on both parties. At this stage whether Lungu lost or HH won, its time these two leaders moved on to providing meaningful leadership in their respective parties and Zambia as a whole. UPND can’t afford to be wasting time and monetary resources re-ligating the presidential elections, and PF should cease talking about 2021 Lungu’s presidential eligibility when issues of 2017 haven’t even been tackled.

If this intra-PF party fight continues, and UPND continues its assault on ECZ/Cons-Court, there’s no way to know for sure, if there will be formidable UPND and PF by 2021. The evidence indicates otherwise going by the fact that MMD is now defunct by its own infighting.

Pursuing legal action is not mutually exclusive from casting a vision for the country and solving Zambia’s economic and social issues. UPND can easily care about pursuing legal justice at the same time as addressing economic inequalities experiencing many Zambians. PF can focus on solving current economic and social problems at the same time as looking to the 2021 elections. It’s not either/or for both UPND and PF.
It’s a new year (2017) and Zambians are eager to see their economic and social burdens lessen. To say that Zambians are willing to give up on resolving economic and social issues in exchange for UPND’s ongoing legal challenges and PF infighting entertainment is nonexistent. Zambians want a break from economic and social hardships, and that can’t wait till 2021.

2. Lungu Lost v. HH Won

You hear things like, “this time Lungu lost to successful business man HH. The results were not even close. Anyone knows HH won”. UPND need to let this go. Dwelling on past elections is just trapping UPND in a denial mode.

There is merit in suggesting that the elections might have been rigged going by the way things were handled by ECZ/Cons-Court. But to suggest that HH lost mostly because of rigging is a mistake. The fact that PF managed to win more MPs despite PF’s dismal 2015/6 economic and social accomplishments suggest that Lungu did get majority votes from PF loyalists. Sata’s loyalists still have a strong allegiance to the PF party. No matter what the UPND message was against Lungu and pre-election rigging, voters did show up and voted for majority of MPs who had a PF after their name.

On the other hand, to say Lungu won because of PF’s economic and social successful accomplishments is to pretend otherwise. Lungu won because compared to HH, Lungu came off as a man who respectfully speaks to the people and respects government institutions (ECZ/Con-Court) whoever imperfect these government institutions might be. They saw what everyone else saw, a man who speaks to them. They like his uncombative personality. They like his simple promises. They like what he says about other politicians, women, other African leaders. Most of all, they like that he is personable, the kind of guy you would drink with. HH de-campaigned himself when he didn’t show up to support national issues like the signing of the constitutional amendment, national day of prayers and the swearing of president elect Lungu.

Going forward UPND should cease solely blaming the loss on ECZ/Cons-Court and focusing on internal systematic leadership problems. It matters most to focus on whether HH’s loss was truly due to UPND’s agenda or problems with HH himself. For what’s it worth, UPND should debate certain campaign decisions and miscalculations like GBM’s VP which didn’t deliver Bemba votes not even a single UPND MP in NP, LP and MC provinces. A UPND postmortem is long overdue for how the party will rebrand its leadership and message for 2021. UPND will never rebrand and expand its electoral map, until it deals with its overrated confidence against Lungu, which is largely used to mask its internal leadership problems. I somehow believe that if HH stood as PF he would win, and if Lungu stood as UPND he would lose. The difference between UPND and PF is a brand issue and not a leadership issue.

PF shouldn’t focus on Lungu’s 2021, when there is a montage of economic and social issues needing immediate attention. What KBF and CK are doing to hold Lungu accountable for some of the cabinet appointments he made might just be the very thing that might continue to feed Sata’s loyalists the appetite for change. How Lungu and PF chose to deal with positive criticism from KBF and CK will determine how PF attempts to rebrand itself by 2021. The internal debates festering in PF is good for democracy and should also be taking place in UPND.

At this stage whether Lungu lost or HH won, its time these two leaders provided meaningful leadership in their respective parties and Zambia as a whole.

3.Focusing on 2021 Presidential Politics

The PF have two separate problems:

  1. Presidential politics, they’re fine for now Lungu won and is the president.
  2. Lungu standing in 2021, they’re not fine because of the montage of economic and social issues needing immediate attention.

To suggest that PF can leap to 2021 presidential elections by not showing up in 2017 and subsequent years is utter political foolishness. PF can’t write off today’s economic and social issues in favor of campaigning for Lungu for 2021. PF needs to deliver otherwise 2021 will be very unforgiving.

As for UPND to suggest that HH is still the default presidential candidate for even 2021, without a convention to do a postmortem on August 11, 2016 election, will be less forgiving of UPND and its strategy. It may be true that HH lost the 2016 elections because of ECZ/Cons-Court, but critics like myself believe that more voices of reason ought to emerge in UPND as is happening in PF, in order to avoid being exposed to last minute surprises. Like I said before there is a need for UPND to discuss openly the series of campaign miscalculations (allowing Sampa, Scott, Mumba) and the impact they had on why HH is not president-elect today. It’s ok to blame external forces, it is equally overdue for UPND to address its internal leadership problems, and lack of political instinct, human intelligence and solid ground game.

Conclusion

By way of conclusion, I would like to say that UPND should live up to its widespread expectation of being a formidable opposition party and not a party of unending litigations. PF should do a good job solving the current struggles of ordinary Zambians, and not morph into a political elite group. UPND and PF have to deliver every day and everywhere. It’s is deeply troubling to see Sata’s PF talking about 2021 elections, when the whole Sata presidency was focused on delivering immediate results to working-class people and solving working-class issues voters cared about. Zambia can’t afford UPND and PF’s political leadership gimmicks (focusing on 2021) over real heartfelt leadership to deal with current national problems.

By Cecil Nsambila Mbolela

Mr.Cecil Nsambila Mbolel , is a native of Mufulira-Copper-Belt, currently based in the USA, a founding member of Zambia Institute of Transparency and Accountability (ZITA). ZITA is a Zambian Think Tank non-profit organization based in Canada-Zambia, whose mission is to promote public debate and awareness on issues of good governance, democracy and free and fair market economy in Zambia and Africa as whole. The author is a regular political and economic contributor to this organization.

53 COMMENTS

    • What an ldiotic article! LT must be reading some of these silly articles before publishing them. You wasted my time.

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    • Cecil naena, these things we discussed in bar, is not to write about. Just a complete mess….
      UPND are not fighting PF on anything
      PF are fighting themselves

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    • This chap is the dumbest and dullest person to write such nonsense. LT please evulate what people send to you before posting.

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    • Oh, now, now, folks! This man makes sense if you understand his stance, where he is coming from. He is assuming that institutions in Zambia do work, maybe the way they used to 20 years ago. What he does not acknowledge regarding UPND’s legal fight is that party’s desire to make the electoral and judiciary institutions truly operational and independent of the ruling party. At the rate ECZ and the Kangaroo Court are going we do not need elections in 2021 because ECZ can dream any ballot numbers they want and declare Lungu winner. And the Kangaroo Court will back ECZ’s decision. Zambia is in a far worse constitutional crisis than the Gambia. That’s what UPND is fighting to reverse. Everything else about party leadership is irrelevant.

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    • How can an election be run and prescribed forms (Gen 12, Gen 13 and ECZ 19) for making returns are missing or unavailable or hidden? And the prescribed forms are not signed by the people who witnessed the counts? Or the forms bear no resemblance to declared results at polling stations? What is the point of having such “elections”? What happened in August 2016 is a mockery and travesty. We need to clarify this before “moving on” because there is nowhere else to move to. A lot of young voters whose views were not recorded in polling results do not feel like ever voting again because elections under PF suck. ECZ can declare their election results without the need of ever conducting elections.

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    • It’s a good discourse for our democracy. Other parties are busy fighting for democracy of the entire country but are failing to apply democracy within their family cycles. To me this is a very dangerous state of affairs and such people when given power will be saying everything is in order with the current leadership so zambia go and hang: no more elections until this man dies! When have a Neighbour in similar situation and I pray it never happen in Zambia

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  1. This is unbiased analysis, very good, which I agree to and does represent many of my views I have on current political situation.

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  2. Very stupid article? so to this ******** fighting justice is wrong?
    he even calls innocent people as pundit

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  3. Read, digest, contemplate and make sense of what the writer has written. In all fairness, I agree with the sentiments allayed here. This country deserves better that this political kerfuffle unfolding now. Elections come and go.Between now and 2021, there is myriad of challenges that this country is grappling with and to think only about the loss of elections or who will stand in 2021 is losing focus and paying a blind eye to real issues at hand. Load shading, unemployment, high prices of goods an services, lack of medicine in hospitals etc, these are issues that cut across the political spectrum of whether you are UPND or PF. We all feeling the pinch, so the call for these political comedians of nowadays to put petty politics aside and deal with real economic shortfalls is what we are…

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    • What the 2016 elections showed, if they are to be believed, is that your so-called problems have no impact on Zambians. According to ECZ, load shedding, unemployment, hunger, poverty, high inflation etc were okay as long as PF and Lungu were governing. If you agree with ECZ, then there are no campaign issues that will ever move Zambians – except what tribe a party leader is. If you don’t agree with ECZ, then you will realise that the will of the people was ignored. Chingola constituency (not Nchanga) is a perfect example where ECZ results do not agree with announced polling results. Then you have to deal with the issue of how to hold credible elections that reflect the people’s will and decisions. That’s what UPND is fighting for. Without credible institutions, the elections are just…

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    • I almost wanted to sh*t on the author of this article, then thought of going through the comments and found you, and i have decided to sh*t on you, do you the power that politicians have on you through the policies they make?

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    • Ba Chiwangala,
      Politicians can destroy the country and make it impossible for you to put food on your family’s table. They could ruin the value of the Kwacha against other currencies, they could mess up inflation and make you carry money in wheelbarows but the best is they could start a civil war and reduce Zambia to a Somalia or even better Syria. Do you understand. Greet Mwanakasabi for me!!!

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    • @ chiwanangala, you are right!

      It is the FARMERS that put food on the table. What politicians SHOULD be doing is creating an enabling environment for private commercial food production to flourish. Unfortunately the current crop of incompetent and dishonest so-called “leaders” are more interested in putting food on THEIR TABLE (and millions in their bank accounts) than doing the job the people of Zambia appointed them to do, and are even prepared to steal elections to get their hands on public money.

      That will never take Zambia forward, only into a very dark hole, like so many other African countries, that we may never be able to get out of it! The time to stop this rottenness is NOW, not 2021!

      Let us learn a serious lesson from the Zimbabwe disaster and not blindly follow the…

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  4. IT’S A MISS – ANALYSIS OR OPINION?
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    I put it to you that your analysis has not gone deep enough. People who did not vote for the UPND leader felt and still feel that the guy is a terrible leader who rose to the helm on account of the “T- talk aka tribal talk”, luck of humility and being at the center of the Mines privatization. If you say “I somehow believe that if HH stood as PF he would win, and if Lungu stood as UPND he would lose; and the brand issue kinda talk.” you lie between your teeth. If there was a way to image-build the UPND leader, you may just have your way to resolving the UPND woos. 3quarters of Zambians vote on tribal and tribal-cousinship lines. The risk lingers on PF if they massively split, the UPND leader could just hit the Jackport but for the…

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    • Cont’d
      … ingenuity of on Mama Wina. She is a politician. In short don’t underestimate Mama Wina. When CK was running like a headless duck deciding on which camp to belong, Guy’s side or Edgar’s side, she was piecing together a bombshell that surprised and checkmated former LIMA party failed leader and Zambia’s second time 3months acting president aka “Muzungu Wopusa”
      On the other hand, you tried because you got me hooked on your analysis. 40/100 ni 40%

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  5. Is the author correct to say? (UPND wasted the entire 2016 adjudicating presidential election results, while PF wasted 2016 pirouetting dununa reverse without a clear and strategic plan on solving economic and social issues like ending load shedding, youth unemployment and maintaining price stability of commodities).

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    • He’s wrong!!!!! After election there has only three months before the close of2016. The year to assess anyone started on 1 Jan 2017.

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  6. These are the dreams one normally has while sitting on a toilet pan comfortably emptying his bowels after having nshima with offals.

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  7. THIS IS TRUE: “The difference between UPND and PF is a brand issue and not a leadership issue.”

    The people in the two parties need to deal with the BRANDING of their parties.

    For example:

    What images come to your mind when you think of the PF?
    What images come to you when you hear of UPND?

    Is it INTERNAL DEMOCRACY? MATCHETES? PEACE? SECTIONALISM? DEVELOPMENT? PETTINESS? RETRIBUTIONS?

    What IMAGES do these parties project?
    HOPE? HOPELESSNESS? DIVISIONISM? GREAT FUTURE FOR ZAMBIA or POVERTY FOR THE NATION…?

    Therein is the core of the problems WITH [and not for] these parties!

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  8. This author forgets that you can win an election without winning a single seat in the opponents stronghold as long as you 1. reduce the gap youre losing with 2. presidential elections is about people who actually vote and so if the people in your stronghold turn out and your opponents’ do not turn up, then you can win. we all saw that the PF needed at least 2 constituencies to swallow the like of Monze, Dundumwezi.

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  9. Ati “The difference between UPND and PF is a brand issue and not a leadership issue.” Ata! Watusebanya fwe bena Mafuken boy!

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  10. This analysis is correct one is at a loss what the condemnation by fellow bloggers is all about.
    It’s a fallacy and far fetched to expect any justice in the Zambian legal system.It’s a waste of time and resources.
    I had a discussion this morning at home that 2 PF mayors have beaten UPND where UPND should have taken the lead.Chingola Mayor has cleaned CBD and Kabwe Mayor has sworn to remove cadres from bus stations at any cost.In the councils which have UPND mayors we’ve heard nothing, there is too much concentration on being cheated instead if regrouping and exploiting PF weaknesses like the Malawi Maizegate scandal being championed by Xavier Chishimba.He is steadlly picking a following and if he maintains the same pace he will get a following. UPND is NOT in government to disdain…

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    • Your grammar needs polishing otherwise you wont communicate-The same goes for the author of this article

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  11. The comment section shows you the real reason Zambia is not developing. The article lays out great points about how the UPND and the PF can grow and develop Zambia. From the onset the first commenter gets into his feelings and struts his emotional attacks at the author of the article. I might also resign from commenting here. Is there any Zambian blogsite that actually has normal people commenting anymore?

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  12. #I forgive the Author of the article for being either Naive or Stupid, sorry to say;

    To the author ” At this stage whether Lungu lost or HH won, its time these two leaders moved on to providing meaningful leadership in their respective parties and Zambia as a whole.

    This does not make sense. Once a crime has been committed, law should take its course. as simple as that;

    In 2011: When Michael Sata defeated Rupiah in 2011, he launched a probe in the corrupt activities that characterised Banda’s short term in office. Today Maxiwell Mwale has been convicted two years for stealing bicycles. Milandu, you don’t just abandon just like that else similar crimes will be perpetuated. Let me end up here.

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  13. For the clueless hh and lungu to to transform themselves into wonderful leaders to insouee their followers to think and debate issues without defaulting to insults, it will probably take a “road to Damascus” type personal transformation…a “metanoia”. We’re talking long-shot here. Author raised 3 points why UPND and PF is misficused, and allylu hahe are commentators insulting the author for directing the nation to unsolved issues like load shedding. Zambia But I am an incurably doomed with mediocrity and profanity as its first language. Problem with mediocrity is that fools spend most of their energy growing the wisdom of those trying to awaken the nation from its slumber. How I wish you could be angry at hh and lungu, versus on an innocent citizen just trying to have a…

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  14. For the clueless hh and lungu to transform themselves into wonderful leaders to inspire their followers to think and debate issues without defaulting to insults, it will probably take a “road to Damascus” type personal transformation…a “metanoia”. We’re talking long-shot here. Author raised 3 points why UPND and PF is misfocused, and all you have are a bunch of commentators insulting the author for directing the nation to unsolved issues like load shedding. Zambia is incurably doomed with mediocrity and profanity as its first language. Problem with mediocrity is that fools spend most of their energy mocking the wisdom of those trying to awaken the nation from its slumber. How I wish you could be angry at hh and lungu, versus on an innocent citizen just trying to have a political…

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  15. Lungu respects govt institutions? Why didn’t he let the Speaker act as president during the petition? Why have the ministers not paid back the money as instructed by the concourt? This so-called think-tank chap is thinking from his belly or he has chicken brains.

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  16. in summary he is saying ,”The PF won the election as it is the loved parties and lungu is a humble and respectful leader , UDNP are wasting their time on concourts . however PF needs to stop the internal fights otherwise our beloved PF will loose what it gained for years and instead look at national issues”

    surely he did not need 7 paragraphs buta

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  17. Hungry Hyena minions dont like their Hyena being dissected!!!! We hope this article will be ridiculed by the Hungry HYena’s minions as once they get enlightened..crap, even if you reveal the secret to them, they will not believe. From the ECL camp we receive it..

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  18. I am impressed with the analysis, because I am one of the most disappointed person with these two political parties. At first I thought UPND was the way forward until I discovered that it was just a Party of HH worshippers. PF seemed more accommodating and inclusive but little did I know that ECL was just hiding in the sheep’s skin and he is just like HH and want to be worshipped too. Until such a time when these two leaders realises that there are other capable individuals in Zambia to rule the country. Its not about them only and none of them have the magic to turn the economy of Zambia into heaven overnight. We want new ideas.

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  19. This is the part that gives it all away “Lungu won because compared to HH, Lungu came off as a man who respectfully speaks to the people and respects government institutions (ECZ/Con-Court) whoever imperfect these government institutions might be. They saw what everyone else saw, a man who speaks to them. They like his uncombative personality. They like his simple promises. They like what he says about other politicians, women, other African leaders. Most of all, they like that he is personable, the kind of guy you would drink with”
    Completely the opposite of reality, wild dreaming. How can a sensible person, for example like a simple promise of 5,000,000 jobs in 5 years? Even America cannot achieve that. What more with an economy which is a tiny tiny fraction of America’s…

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  20. This article people is correct and very balanced, it is about prioritizing Zambian citizen’s concerns!

    Why all the insults?

    Please just argue intellectually, write an article to discuss your arguments as Cecil has done!

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  21. I for one I like this analysis, and do agree with the writer since every one is entitled his opinion this one goes in my favour.
    I mean UPND if they are wise enough need to stop crying over split milk and go to the drawing board as soon as possible. They will not gain nothing as things stand, they need to address the problems that is with them, that issue that hasn’t gone away status quo will not do any good to the party .
    Politics is not about what you want but what the majority of the electorate want .
    In politics it is not about fighting certain individuals but about recognising what people want , if your desire is to fix any one in the nation then discount yourself from politics.
    Yes indeed if politics is to fix one tribe that is issue then the more you want to do that you…

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  22. You are better of there with a new s.t.u.p.id president elect. Next time talk about why your fo.l.i.sh president is fighting his own inteligence and leave Zambians matters to us residents. Ijoooti lyobe

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  23. I think Lungu wants to sway attention of Zambians on the current economic woes by bringing up the 2021 issue while HH is also hiding in the litigation issue so to make his party forget to go for a convention wamuyayaya syndrome.

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