PF Media Director Sunday Chanda
PF Media Director Sunday Chanda

CONGRATULATIONS TO UPND AS THEY CELEBRATE 20 YEARS OF EXISTENCE: MAY THIS BE A TIME OF SOBER REFLECTION TO LEARN FROM THE PAST AS THEY LOOK TO THE FUTURE.

By Sunday Chilufya Chanda

Compliments of the season and congratulations to the leader of the United Party for National Development (UPND) as well as the National Management Committee (NMC) and general Membership as they celebrate twenty (20) years of their party’s existence in Opposition.

Although we are contenders in the political space, and our mutual discourse can at times get feisty, we are at the end of the day brothers and sisters; kith and kin jointly occupying the same geographical space of the only nation we belong to together-Zambia.

Our nationhood in diversity is what unites us and it ultimately is stronger than what divides us.

As our sisters and brothers celebrate this significant this milestone, it is important for them to take stock of the last two decades and learn from their past as they look ahead.

As the philosopher and essayist George Santayana once said:

‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’

Sir Winston Churchill later paraphrased it to:

‘Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.’

Whichever way you look at it, everyone especially UPND in this case, need to learn from the past as they look to the future.

A Brief Reflection of UPND HISTORY

The UPND was established in December 1998 and was initially led by Mr Anderson Kambela Mazoka (MHSRIP), who had left the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) shortly beforehand.

Mr Mazoka led the party until his untimely death 2006 when the incumbent Mr Hakainde Hichilema took over in controversial circumstances fraught with tribal sentiments loaded with unfortunate regional inclinations, which are well documented.

As the hitherto unknown successor who was not in the party structures let alone nowhere near the hierarchy took over the reins, founding and established stalwarts such as Sakwiba Sikota, Patrick Chisanga and Robert Sichinga were unceremoniously hounded out of the party in what was largely viewed as an “ethnic cleansing” of the party.

That was a little over a decade ago, and the tribal faux pas has to date not been condemned by late Mazoka’s successor-implying his tacit support for it.

The quality of Political Parties affects the quality of our nation’s overall democracy

As they turn their focus to the present day, they need to be reminded that all political parties are central to our democracy and UPND is one of the many players that contribute to the nature of this democracy.

The quality of our collective democracy as a nation is therefore a function of the quality of the democratic quality and practise of its singular players.

How the UPND conducts itself internally and externally is consequently of great interest to the entire nation. This fact underpins our message to them in this article.
Zambia is a Multi-Party Democracy, with the Patriotic Front in Government and an assortment of parties in the opposition – including UPND.

After 20 years, UPND Are Still Without Manifesto; how then can they move “Zambia Forward”?

Political Parties are essentially organisations that seek political power so that their philosophy and policy become public policy.

It is therefore unbelievably strange that after 20 years the UPND still have no manifesto- they instead have a one-pager wishlist with bullet points they call a “Ten Point Plan”.

It is a “plan” that raises more questions than answers. The crucial Who, What, Why, When and How is conspicuously missing.

Nevertheless, since the said 10 point “plan” has been swallowed up by what PF is delivering, what alternative promises and policies can they offer? What new message does the UPND bring to the political equation besides singing the empty “corruption” song?

We therefore urge our brothers and sisters in UPND to find a new song because everything they sing about has either been delivered by PF or it is work in progress. They cannot reinvent the wheel!

By the same token, we also exhort the brethren to develop a coherent detailed manifesto rather than a one-pager with bullet points. Statecraft is no simple matter!

Their Need to Revisit Their Role as an Opposition Party

The current dispensation of rubbishing everything and anything the government does just for the sake of it is a far cry from the constructive criticism of the founding father of UPND. A mature Opposition political party understands that more often than not, it must rise to the challenge to play the role of a proposition party – there is a clarion call to politics of alternatives!

In the days of the late Anderson Mazoka, UPND would publish an alternative national budget and alternative policies to challenge the budget of the then government of the day.
While being critical of government at times, the UPND under Mazoka gave credit where it was due.

However, since 2006 under the current regime that succeeded Mazoka, UPND has typically been hypercritical and rather pedantic of anything and everything under every administration- from President Mwanawasa to President Rupiah Banda, President Michael Chilufya Sata and the incumbent His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu.

How is it that during the tenure of its current administration, the UPND has never said anything good or given credit where it is due regarding any of the fore-mentioned leaders’ achievements?

Can they really say that all the above-mentioned Heads of State never did or have never done anything right?

How bizarre is it that they only give credit posthumously as in the case of President Mwanawasa and the late President Michael Chilufya Sata (albeit begrudgingly)?

Does being in opposition also mean rejecting to work with Government Departments to bring development to the people and expelling Party officials that are seen or rumoured to have been seen talking to government officials?

Perhaps as the UPND celebrates 20 years of its existence in Opposition, it needs to revisit its purpose and what it means to be an opposition party.

As they do that, their leadership should also use this milestone in the Opposition to reflect on their intra-party democracy and internal dialogue.

How democratic are intra-party UPND Politics? Is there internal dialogue?

Can they really call themselves “democratic”?

Apart from the obvious fact that their current leader is de facto Life President having unsuccessfully contested 5 elections without even so much as a sniff of internal opposition – have they ever held an elective convention?

The basic question is -Do their structures even hold elections like the ruling party does? If so, how often?

How responsive and representative is their top to bottom approach that has rendered them out of touch with the grassroots?

These questions may be a bitter pill to swallow, but they are an elixir that will help them see how over the years they have evolved into an Aristocracy (a privileged class/person holding hereditary title) rather than a democracy.

Democracy and dialogue go together.

Where there is no internal democracy, there is no internal dialogue.

UPND should first get its house in order by taking a leaf from the ruling party in order to build internal democracy by conducting internal elections as well as dealing with intra-party dialogue before they can credibly talk about inter-party dialogue.

Finally Bretheren!

May the 20 year be a watershed for the UPND in which they will consciously choose to engage in the edifying and nation building political arena of ideas and policy, rather than the retrogressive arena of calumny and misinformation.
Hearty felicitations once again to Mr Hakainde Hichilema- the President of the UPND as well as the leadership and members as they celebrate this milestone.

God bless you.

The Author is Patriotic Front Media Director At the Patriotic Front Secretariat Lusaka.

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41 COMMENTS

    • One word “shady.” Seriously though UPND is rubbi$h and tribal to the core who thinks that a designated Bemba mascot(Sampa, GBM, Kambwili) can win them the presidency but Zambians are not $tupid. They see right through it. Here is to another 20 years of doing the same thing over and over again!

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    • The chanda chap has no idea what it feels to be in opposition in Africa, he was unip when they were, left when and joined mmd when they defeated unip, did the same when mmd lost to pf , he would only made to the political hall of fame if he had stayed on in mmd and made mmd come back to power, for now he is just a political parasite (konto) who feeds on the sweat of the host.

      Political Guru
      PhD in political science.

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    • This dull moron Chanda the thief is infatuated with the opposition…when they dont contest a by election he writes an article but when there is a scandal he is quiet.
      If he was with old man Sata in opposition from the start he wotld think twice.

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    • The question should be Will PF survive in opposition, My greatest fear is that once UPND takes power there will be no opposition in Zambia, This is a fact that every well meaning Zambian should be afraid of, Mark my words UPND will have it easy when they form government. There is no figure head in PF to carry them in opposition, No man to use his personal money to support the party like HH has done, we can say all the bad things about HH but the guy has kept our young democracy going without HH and his money we would have been like the UNIP days, Just imagine PF right now without UPND in oppsition, They would have even sold our underwears to the chines, They only thing that PF is scared of at the moment is UPND and HH.

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    • Bellarmine Chatunga – These are utterly small silly boys born yesteryear enjoying the benefits of Old man Sata’s sweat…this is why they have no manners or respect of opponents like the usual suspects who visit this site who you can engage with only vulgarity….as that is the language they understand. The only learn the hard way like that silly boy Tayali who thought a few coins of bronze in his pocket and a hire purchased Toyota Hilux makes him fit to be in with the big boys…look at him now pleading on the floor!!

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  1. From the theiving party with a fraud convict layer to The resident LT PF rats who still can’t be live that lungu, despite spending $12 billion still had to rig and practice the worst political violence in Zambias history , all because of a one HH …… no wounder they hate this man so much, just the fact lungu had to find himself accused of rigging when if it were anyone else having just spent so much , and having all state marchinary would not even have needed to campain……..Lungu was even forced to illigally pay ministers to campain for him and mortgage the country at the hands of one HH ……

    Hehehehe

    sorry bane, your nightmare continues , HH aint going nowhere 

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    • If hh had just a quarter of what lungu had like ZAF choppers and the police and the full GRZ resources he was not going to be putting on dancing exhibitions like lungu and being accused of rigging……hh will face lungu again, he aint going nowhere you hope him to go, sorry…..you have to dance dunnuna again with lungu and sonta at toll gates …..

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    • @Spooked … there are no nightmares. In a democracy we have winners and losers. So, ECL has won twice against HH. Here below is an example of true patriotism. George H W Bush lost to Bill Clinton in the 1992 US Election and yet left this note for the incoming President.

      Dear Bill,

      When I walked into this office just now I felt the same sense of wonder and respect that I felt four years ago. I know you will feel that, too. I wish you great happiness here. I never felt the loneliness some Presidents have described.

      There will be very tough times, made even more difficult by criticism you may not think is fair. I’m not a very good one to give advice; but just don’t let the critics discourage you or push you off course. You will be our President when you read this note. I wish you…

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    • Here it is in it’s entirety … now you tell me if there’s any patriotism in your kind of politics and UPND that suspends members just because of attending to national duties.

      Dear Bill,

      When I walked into this office just now I felt the same sense of wonder and respect that I felt four years ago. I know you will feel that, too. I wish you great happiness here. I never felt the loneliness some Presidents have described.

      There will be very tough times, made even more difficult by criticism you may not think is fair. I’m not a very good one to give advice; but just don’t let the critics discourage you or push you off course. You will be our President when you read this note. I wish you well. I wish your family well.

      Your success now is our country’s success. I am rooting…

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    • Dear Bill,

      When I walked into this office just now I felt the same sense of wonder and respect that I felt four years ago. I know you will feel that, too. I wish you great happiness here. I never felt the loneliness some Presidents have described.

      There will be very tough times, made even more difficult by criticism you may not think is fair. I’m not a very good one to give advice; but just don’t let the critics discourage you or push you off course. You will be our President when you read this note. I wish you well. I wish your family well.

      Your success now is our country’s success. I am rooting hard for you.

      Good luck—George

      Instead of rooting for ECL hard so our country can succeed, you guys are rooting for his failure … do you see the contrast here?

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    • BR MUMBA

      can you also enlighten us if and when US cops were used to suppress the opposition using brute force or sometime aiding and abbetting party caders carryout henious assults against the opposition as is the case in Zambia ??

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    • BTW BR bamba , to you Zambias sections were about winners and losers , to almost half the country it was about rigging cheats and losers.
      Incase you did not know, some one who claims to have won an election should have no problems with letting the courts decide , instead of relaying on a technicality to cancel any court case, as the saying goes ,

      If an accused rapist refuses a DNA test , then people have the right to conclude as reason…..

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    • @B R Mumba, Sr here below is an example of true patriotism.
      A video in which UPND Kalulushi Candidate Evaristo Mwalilino’s  driver revealed how Hakainde Hichilema and Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba’s Kalulushi Constituency  votes where concealed went viral after it was aired on Prime TV.
      In the video, Wanna Chiyanga is confessing that his boss Mwalilino was given K21000, K360 000 for 21,966 votes and dropping the election petition respectively.
      He disclosed that former President Rupiah Banda, former Information Minister Kapamba Mulenga and axed PF Deputy Chairperson for Elections Kelvin Fube Bwalya (KBF) and Mwalilino were heavily involved in the scheme of things.
      Shame on you.

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    • RiggingPF: If any of what you described was aired on tv, it was evidence and should have been the basis of the petition. Even today, that video should be on every media. But because it’s total cow dung, the world knows that hh is a serial loser who lost to a newcomer!!

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  2. I have not seen democracy in upnd. Imagine since 2006, no elections. It has a life president in the name of Halloween Halloween. Let’s be careful with HH Zambians. He will be a dictator to recover the number of years he has lost losing elections. Mukamona tribalism at it’s best. Thanks Sunday for the analysis.

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  3. flag Corruption scandals: Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans

    What a classless act… for once when I saw the screaming headline and a few sentences at the beginning, I thought finally here comes the maturity in this Monday Chanda sycophant. But how disappointed was I to find out his ‘congratulations’ message is just a mockery… he goes on a rant to condemn and ‘educate’ UPND. Please just STFU and sit down.

    What lessons can UPND learn from these thieves in PF, who came to power by riding the Bemba vote and stole every election – starting with the internal party elections to replace Sata – to perpetuate their stay at the top.

    The problem who suffers with the these PF thieves at the top isn’t HH, it is the ordinary Zambians who will continue suffering in perpetual poverty while the select few become stinking filthy rich.

    Only naive…

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    • flag Corruption scandals: Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans

      …Only naive people would continue buying into the ‘tribal’ tag accusations of UPND over an episode that happened in 2006. Even Sakwiba Saki Sikota has moved on from that. Truth is PF is messing this country at the minute, right now!

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    • Do you even bother reading the drivel from this kaponya pompwe ???

      As soon as I see his name I know same sh.it different day….

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  4. Well articulated Sunday Chanda
    ..Hope HH is reading and heading to the timely advice.

    I’m one of your ardent followers

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  5. Point of correction Mr Sunday Chanda.
    The UPND has a manifesto. The UPND manifesto was authored by four former UNZA academics: Saul Zulu, Douglas Syakalima, Trywell Kalusopa and Kazhila Chinsembu. Prof. Chinsembu and Prof. Kalusopa are professors at the University of Namibia. Syakalima is MP for Chirundu. Zulu passed away few years ago while teaching at the University of Botswana. The four worked with Sakwiba Sikota and late Tiens Kahenya. Any journalist who worked for The Post, Times or Daily Mail will tell you that Mazoka launched the UPND manifesto at Intercontinental Hotel in Lusaka in April 2000. Thanks

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  6. Sunday Chanda is right, UPND has no manifesto except what they call a 10-point plan…We need to debate these 10 points, not the size of crowds at rallies. Are they achievable? How shall UPND raise the revenues to finance the 10 points? As the devil is in the details, what are the specifics? What could be missing from the 10? That’s a healthy conversation to have.

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  7. What is there to celebrate? In a seriously managed organisation, this is not possible because the members are more interested in the success of the organization, not it’s existance.

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  8. Celebrating Twenty (20) years of losses?
    I don’t see how Zambian soccer fans would tolerate the same Chipolopolo Coach for 20 years without a win!
    When we cease to change, we should be sure of our impending death!
    It’s really been up and down under Hachi! If Hachi was a striker in soccer, his team would constantly fail to win because selfish strikers rarely score! It’s not a one man show!
    Take Sunday Chanda’s advice seriously! One reason Zambians are suffering is because of a dysfunctional opposition!

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    • The same could be said of lungu….tell us when zambia has ever recorded a trade surplus or budget surplus under lungu despite putting the country in a $ 17 billion debt ???

      That is even a worse statistic

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  9. 20 NO MP in Lusaka and Copperbelt..? Or 20 years of political failure in UPND because of their TRIBAL DNA.?

    By the UPND supporters don’t DECIEVE PEOPLE THAT HH HAS USE HIS POCKET MONEY TO RUN THE PARTY ,THE FINANCIERS ARE ANGLO-AMERICANS. They pushed late MAZOKA to form their political grouping in form political party.HH is an AGENT OF THIS MINERAL TERRORISTS OF THIS WORLD.

    Shame for you who supporting UPND blindly maybe because of DULLNESS AND IGNORANCE OF WHAT HH/ UPND STANDS FOR.People who follows documentaries from PRESS TV and ALJEEZILA knows how THE SEVEN SISTERS have turned this world for. Africa is always torn apart using their fellow Africans like HH THE SCHEMER, his father MAZOKA resigned from this EVIL mineral conglomerate org. Publicly and denounce it EVIL where he same…

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    • And lungu is an agent of the Chinese take over of Zambia….he first started by trying to force Chinese cops onto Zambians but was checked now we have to watch the flooding of Chinese unemployed into Zambia as contracted by PF and lungu for China as payment for financing them to stay in power………

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  10. Simply put, Hakainde is not a presidential material period. Whatever his followers claim him to be, he is just an ordinary citizen who was privileged to lead a political party in which he was never a member.

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    • If lungu , a fraud convict and one who has never held a press conference as president can be presidential material , belive , anyone can be….

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    • You’d be amazed at the criteria some Zambians use to call someone presidential material. How can a convict be presidential material?

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  11. Now imagine if Sunday Chanda were put to the test by voters. Would anybody vote for him except the rats in his house who feed and clothe him? Bootlickers are bootlickers regardless of whose boots they lick

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  12. It is so so easy to shoot down the PF who maligne HH by just comparing or brining up lungu……they soon scatter and take cover when they realise their candidate lungu is an activists dream target, simply difficult to protect….

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  13. Mmmmmm…..since 2006 no manifesto cant vote for upnd,CANT NEVER! ba upnd ubufi bwali chilamo.nrdc,znbc,kk airport,state hse,chimbokaila,zaffico,etc.Mambala yu wabufi.

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