Tuesday, May 21, 2024

“Kapata Mukuya” and The Bantustan Politics: How Hichilema is Failing UPND


UPND Leader Hakainde Hichilema with Party members
UPND Leader Hakainde Hichilema with Party members

By Edwin Lifwekelo

We feel for the Opposition UPND members as they have to endure their life President diminish the Party’s returns with every election that comes.

From 2006 when he took over as leader of the Opposition UPND by way of tribal machinations and conspiracies, Hichilema has never learnt that hired crowds do not turnout to vote.

Over the last 13 years that he’s been leader of the UPND, he also hasn’t learnt his lesson that surrounding himself with lapdogs and useful idiots like Elias Chipimo under the guise of an “alliance” alienates loyal Party members who have stood with him over the past 13 years.

Over the past 13 years as Life President of the UPND, he has never learnt that it pays for a leader to remain loyal to those on whose shoulders he stands.
The “Kapata mukaya” mentality that lavishes attention to new “friends” at the expense of the ostracised old faithful, is thus killing Hichilema’s UPND.

When Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM) joined UPND, Hichilema clearly side-lined loyal stalwarts to create space for his new found love. We saw the neglect of people such as the late Hon Request Muntanga, late Kuchunga Simusamba, who served as UPND deputy Secretary General, and many others.

Today, it is GBM that is being isolated and alienated.

Hichilema is presently so infatuated with former Roan Constituency MP Chishimba Kambwili that he is clearly marginalising and estranging GBM his Vice President. Hichilema is evidently under the illusion that Kambwili with his loose loud mouth has the magical card. It is just a matter of time before GBM becomes history in UPND.

It is also now clear that UPND cannot comfortably defend any of its seats in its strongholds without the involvement of violence, bees and lightning. As things stand, Hichilema does not enjoy the loyalty of most of his Members of Parliament in the House. They simply look at him as a ticket to Parliament, nothing more, nothing less.

With Hichilema at the helm of the UPND and the political impotence of the likes of Chipimo as his “alliance”, the opposition will suffer a heavier defeat and lose by an even wider margin in 2021, especially if we go into that election under the current Constitution and other laws.


UPND Leader Hakainde Hichilema with Party members
UPND Leader Hakainde Hichilema with Party members

Apart from Hichilema’s “Kapata mukaya” mentality there is another major abnormality that continues to destroy UPND from the inside.

Fred M’membe now leader of the Socialist Party and former editor of the defunct Post Newspaper repeatedly referred to UPND as a “Bantustan” party.

“Bantustans” were a major divisive administrative scheme for the exclusion of blacks from the South African political system under the policy of apartheid, or racial segregation.

Similarly, the divisive Bantustan approach that came with Hichilema’s hostile take-over of UPND in 2006, exlcuded UPND MP’s and Councillors from accesing development in their areas, as Hichilema barred them from interacting with relevant government agencies and officials.

Just like apartheid defined a persons affiliation, destiny and character by the colour if their skin, Hichilema’s UPND encourages divisive stereotyping that defines a Zambian citizens character and political affiliation based on the province or region they came from. In Hichilema’s UPND, citizens that hail from a particular region are by default obliged to automatically become sympathetic to UPND regardless of circumstances; and correspondingly, Hichilema considers Zambians who hail from these particular areas as “traitors” if they support any other political party apart from UPND.

For instance, during the funeral of the late Anderson Kambela Mazoka – the founder of UPND, the then Information and Broadcasting Services Minister under MMD Government Dr Vernon Mwaanga (a Southerner) went to the funeral house to deliver a Government message from the then Head of State President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa; Mwaanga and his driver were savagely beaten by UPND cadres under the leadership of Hakainde Hichilema.

And what was Mr Mwaanga’s crime? He was brutalised and beaten because he was a Southerner who did not support the UPND but belonged to the ruling party! (MMD at the time).

Over the last 13 years of Hakainde Hichilema’s misrule of UPND, there have been many other examples of people from Southern Province, and other perceived UPND “strongholds” that have been discriminated against and even abused by Hichilema and the UPND for merely supporting other political parties.

Conversely, there are many examples of UPND fanatics in UPND strongholds, who in keeping with Hichilema’s UPND’s regional extremism, have discriminated and even brutalised Zambians who do not come from those particular areas.

It is therefore understandable why the current leader of the Socialist Party as earlier alluded to, has in the past frequently labelled UPND a “tribal Bantustan party” that had a regional colour. He was merely calling an animal by its rightful name!

And when the erstwhile tabloid editor roasted Hichilema for one graft allegation or another and exposed UPND as a regional party itching to form government in order to exploit resources for the personal gain of its leaders, he said: _“UPND has the propensity of becoming worse in government than any other party because it is full of “crooks” interested only in enriching themselves if they assumed power through tenders”_ the current leader of the Socialist Party was merely being candid.


HH during the campaigns in the Kafue By Elections
HH during the campaigns in the Kafue By Elections

It is important to remember that it is Hichilema’s UPND’s Bantustan mentality that senselessly triggered the Kafue Council Chairperson by election.

It was caused by the UPND “disciplining” the former Council Chairperson for merely attending an official engagement in his official capacity within his official jurisdiction in Kafue; when the Head of State President Edgar Chagwa Lungu was on national duty in Kafue to launch the keep Kafue Healthy Clean and Green event.

Like apartheid Hichilema would rather have the people in UPND strongholds wallowing in poverty, than their leaders being seen and interacting with relevant government officials to foster development in these areas.

The outcome of the Kafue by Election is therefore symbolic of how Zambians all over the nation, including Western, Southern and North western have continued to reject Hichilema’s senseless and retarded Bantustan kind of politics.

As Patriotic Front Secretary General Hon Davies Mwila has stated, The PF development agenda is a wind of change blowing across former opposition strongholds.

This wind of change is a growing into a movement of gale force winds, bringing freedom from the Bantustan bondage of regionalism, whilst increasing PF grassroots popularity.

This election success is therefore a victory for the development of Kafue under PF; overcoming the prolonged Bantustan retardation of Kafue under UPND;

It is a victory of the will of the people prevailing over the bitter ego of one man;

It is also a victory of love and national unity; prevailing over the blind negative loyalty of tribalism and regionalism.

It is therefore not just a triumph for Patriotic Front; but a victory for all progressive Zambians who do not want their political choices to be driven by regional and tribal stereotypes.

The current UPND model that automatically pigeon holes the political affiliation of citizens according to region; and in apartheid fashion segregates and prevents its officials from engaging with relevant Government officials to foster development in their respective areas is blatant Bantustan style tribalism.

Hakainde is failing the UPND.

The Author is Patriotic Front’s founding Secretary General and now Member of the Information Committee


  1. Why should you worry about your opponent’s “declining political fortunes?”. You are clearly losing sleep over him. Otherwise how else do you explain writing such a long article?

    • Anyone who can insults and has hatred towards ECL is a friend of upnd and hh. You just need to read jjs comments and those similar to his to know who they support. This guy has brought shame in politics by thinking that after stealing zambians owns him presidency.

    • Zambia what has gone wrong. Such hatred for someone can not be condoned. Opposition politics is not easy in Zambia. HH has done very well keeping UPND together. Look at FDD, ULP and others. If HH was as bad as these hired guns would like to paint him, UPND would have crumbled long ago.

      It’s clear the PF anti HH machinery is in full swing. The thieves are scared of loosing power and accounting for their crimes.

    • @1.3 yes hh has managed to hold upnd together because of tribalism. The 90% members who are loyal to this party come from the same region just like you. Its not about party policies because upnd only has a ten point plan which has been fulfilled already by pf.

    • HH should be nicknamed Kamuzu Banda or Yoweri Museveni……The life President of UPND till death do us part

    • People let us look at fact ( and as a disclaimer I am Bemba). PF is the most tribal party in the history of Zambia. 90% of Ministers, PS, Ambassadors, Parastatal heads, Service Chiefs, Govt Directors are either Bemba , Chewa/Ngoni or allied tribes. This makes me ashamed to be Zambia. Could we make deliberate attempts to be inclusive.

    • Lifweko was first PF secretary General, and now he is destitute?
      What is wrong about Republican party in USA is considered for whites, while Democrats are for the rest?
      HH should have kept it as a Tonga party, whose agenda is to make Zambians ranchers and RICH.
      What is wrong with that? People in Luapula will buy that idea, they have good land for cows.
      HH be a Kachema musuma….

    • Hichilema is presently so infatuated with former Roan Constituency MP Chishimba Kambwili that he is clearly marginalising and estranging GBM his Vice President. Hichilema is evidently under the illusion that Kambwili with his loose loud mouth has the magical card. It is just a matter of time before GBM becomes history in UPND.

    • This is hollow analysis indeed. losing kafue doesnt mean you will it in 2021, the same way wining mangango will result in PF retaining it in 2021 – check history if you think i am lying.

    • I fail to equally understand the obsession with analysing the failing UPND by the PF …as a ruling party they should be more concerned with the failing fiscal strategy, increasing failure to pay public workers in quasi government institutions, the depleted reserves, the uncertain taxation policies, the continued overall trade deficit, increasing domestic and international debt …. If the have any cojones I expect the PF media team to start focusing on these issues. The author was even targeted by PF caders after the MMD defeat so he should address the violence too #timewasters

    • The UPND will keep shrinking the don’t realise that the PF have tied economic survival to PF affiliation even if one doesn’t buy into how they are managing the country …in countries like ours economic survival is more important to ECL and his gang should not convince themselves that people actually believe in what they are doing he should just wait till he is not holding akasaka ka ndalama …and the time is soon the failure to pay workers and FISP are now the beginning

    • Simply put, double h is a tribalist. A selfish individual whose only interest is money.
      We written piece. Ema articles aya imwe.

    • PF practice xenophobia on fellow Zambians. They are worse off compared to South Africans. South Africans marginise neighbouring counties. PF marginalise other Zambians based on ethnicity

  2. Sata thought that if one won the copperbelt one would win the Republican presidency. It failed to work and Sata immediately changed the tactics. He started traversing the country and within a short period he won the presidency. But our HH has continued to localize his strategy by entrenching the motto IT’S OUR TIME TO RULE . His weak efforts to change this has been openly cosmetic. Instead of exposing GBM to an election, he just appoints as his VP. Reason is that the stewarts of the Upnd were definitely not going to vote for him. 13 years is a long time.

    • He has even failed to field in a UPNDEAD candidate in Roan Constituency. He can’t test the waters. Too hot for him.
      He wants someone else to win him votes on the copperbelt, other areas and hopes to win the presidency at silver platter.

  3. Yeah it is true, UPND must revise its strategy in line with the new line of thought. Remember PF does not have membership cards and it is the easiest to join. After the likes of Mumbi Phiri, Jean Kapata stopped talking rubbish and the improved image of Bowman Lusambo with mature thinking people are now happy with ECL who has also looked around for planners in the likes of Dr Chitalu who has carried the conidence of the people. How many of the UPNDs constituent chairmen are talking? Here in Chingola the UPND is dying because the leadership is not talking. There are a lot muggings, thefts, power interuptions and eratic water supply,teenagers drinking beer in the streets. People are crying for solutions and the leadership is quiet. This is the weakness of PF in CHINGOLA

  4. Respect to Edwin Lifwekelo. He’s echoed the view of many ex-party members & perhaps the would be ex-party members. Don’t be too quick to dismiss his long article. There’s some sense if you pay close attention. He might have left UPND but he still hurts from how he was forced to leave. Same with pilgrim. Ostracized! Next is GBM, sidelined then ostracized. Next will be Kambwili. Anyway nayenda ine

  5. UPND is no longer tribal. The tribal thing was blown out of prpotion by Kambwili, Jean Kapata, Father Bwaya and Mumbi Phiri.UPND does not talk about tribes look at the last 10 years. All tribal talk has been coming from PF. ECL has done well by fixing tribalists in PF so that other provinces can fill accomodated in the Party. Political Parties are supposed to be dynamic. You can not have the same strategists for 10 years, change and bring in new ideas and this is what ECL is doing. He has realised that some are telling him lies for fear of losing their jobs because they are not in tune with the emerging scientific poilitics being shown on TV. Listen to our Party SG when he talks, lacks knowledge in law, economics and current political thinking. UPND should emulate this.Steal ideas from…

    • You forget what Sejani and Munkombwe said? HH has never distanced himself from those statements, why? He’s afraid to lose his biggest base.

  6. It is also now clear that UPND cannot comfortably defend any of its seats in its strongholds without the involvement of violence, bees and lightning.

    • Kikikiki very realistic question. But the truth is that *Its not better* Its worse acutually. Current leaders we have both in PF and UPND are fighting for power and benefits not for people. Clearly observe that ita all aboit power using people as pawns. How much has UPND invested in elections , do you thing if they were given power they would just let this investigation for worst? Check how UPND sympathisers threaten civil Sarvants, they say will grab your jobs when we form government. Despite the lack of governance strategies and lack.of commitment to fighting corruption by PF, the part is by far better positioned to rule zambia at the current status. Now we have two MMD party’s , on under Dr. MUMBA and another under Mr. MUTATI. Other political parties we cannot even talk about them…

    • Will UPND bring food on your table? Just work hard on your own. Look for a small piece of land to cultivate in order to feed yourself. You may say how do l find a piece of land in town? I am sure we Zambians have villages elsewhere. Grow crops at your village, find means to transport those bags of maize to your destination. Try it you will be happy. I have done it myself. Hunger will never knock on your door.

    • H Moono, you are right in Bemba will say ( ABALIMI TABALALA NSALA) meaning farmers will never go or sleep hungry… !!

  7. Bo Lifwekelo

    I think UPND has made a lot of strides to make the party have a national character. Mr Lifwekelo wants to use the Kafue by election loss to re egnite the tribal issue that is now history.
    Let me remind Mr Lifwekelo that when PF was in opposition, the late Michael Sata dismissed the Lusaka Mayor from PF for just going to the airport together with MMD ruling party govt officials to welcome the Chinease president. Lifwekelo knows very well what happens when an opposition MP/Coucillor begins to have a lot of meetings with cash flashing emissaries from the ruling party. He knows how he was bought. He is just playing PR.
    Let me take this chance to congratulate HH for keeping the party intact for a long time. Its not easy being in the opposition. We have seen parties like…

  8. National Party, ZADECO, FDD, LPP, deteriorating from a double digit number of MPs to Nil finally all members become friends of the rulling party.

    In the mean time let Lifwekelo continue enjoying by aligning himself to the ruling party. Lifwekelo is intelligent but has no economic Spine to persevere or survive the storms while siding with the opposition.

    All the best mr Lifwekelo

  9. The article based on personal opinion not worthy reading. I wouldn’t be surprised if you started blaming HH and UPND for the $42m for 42 fire trucks, for Eurobonds and national debt and corruption in Govn’t.
    Southern province was the bread basket of Zambia until MMD came into power and killed the farming industry, then PF buried the industry and the southern have sort for change ever since unlike the northern and Eastern who have continued to live in poverty by keep voting for thieves who have plundered every single ngwee of the nation. Since 1964 the northerners and Easterners have been the most tribalist, why is it not a problem when they have continued to vote for the Easterner or northerner presidential candidate and when other regions do the same by voting of their own are…

  10. It is so so strange that one Edwin Lifwekelo, the rolling Stone that gathers no moss, having achieved the result he wanted in Kafue still talks about the Party he vanquished! Why concern yourself about the leadership in the Party you left instead of thinking about how you deliver the so called development in Kafue? The decisions of the quality of leadership in the opposition party are for the Party faithfuls and not yours Edwin. You lost the opportunity to contribute to the leadership discourse or the lack of it in UPND as soon as you left the Party. Your task is to help your Party to find solutions to the myriad challenges that face it and the country. Otherwise, shut up and get out of the kitchen.

  11. Cont
    The truth is Zambia is a divided nation and it is high time the media, politicians and the society at large stop playing the tribal cards for cheap politics.

    • This division is only in your imaginations. We will differ because of politics…but as a people we will never be divided. Only those who want evil upon zambia will continue preaching divisions which in reality don’t exist

  12. The people of Zambia are very poor at analysing issues, Discuss the issues raised not personality. Hasn’t UPND used violence to win elections, Hasn’t the UPND been hacking people, hasn’t GBM been forsaken and now the preferred is CK, is the UPND a truly national and not a regional party?. Defend the issues raised, where has Lifwekelo missed the point, if at all he has missed it. By attacking Lifwekelo, you are confirming that he has hit the Nail on the head. Defend with substance and not just expressing your ignorance on issues you can contribute positively.

    • Exactly , this is where we miss it and ending debating matters senselessly. People just talk about personalities instead of bringing substance to defend themselves

  13. Articles like this one make good material for those who do not have a library in their homes or indeed any other book den they can go to read. While the contents are the writer’s opinion, some of the sentiments expressed have raised concern. One issue here is the fact that HH has over stayed in that leadership which he is in by default. To my knowledge he has NEVER been challenged for the position and this could be because he is ruling with an iron hand. Fifteen years is such a long time whereby those who were born when he got into that seat shall be qualified to vote in the next presidential elections of 2021. Imagine! I am afraid this man may turn out to be a wamuyaya if he is not already.

    • Very true Pink Toe! HH must step down if he loves his party! Unfortunately, asking HH to step down is like asking PF to ban itself for 10 years for political violence! For Zambians who really want change, let us not put our hope in PF or UPND! Let us start mobilizing ourselves and come up with a third movement to do away with this retrogressive politics we have today in the name of PF and UPND. These two parties will cost this country!

    • HH has committed himself to some clandestine group that has told him they want nothing other than him becoming president.

  14. Wrong and poor analysis by Mr Lifwekelo. One can easily tell tell from the article that its biased. How many parties have been formed and disappeared in Zambia. I think UPND has stood a test of time, party to recon with, major opposition in Zambia currently etc. They may have their weaknesses but in democracy you expect to win or loose elections. Lets be objective and not subjective. Look at British politics today? BREXIT is at its apex. Party in power affected, MPs voting for and against, PM deal rejected in commons and all that. Democracy is all about people belonging to their party of choice. Dont feel sorry for any party but say who are supporting and why others should support you or them.

  15. 1.6 Obatala I don’t know whether you are just malicious or simply ignorant. Last time Edgar appointed Tonga MPs to cabinet, these gentlemen were expelled from the Upnd and eventually lost their parliamentary seats. Why should Edgar endanger these MPs livelihoods. Don’t forget what caused the Kafue by election? Even mama Inonge Wina is despised for belonging to the PF. The provincial ministers in North Western, Western and Southern provinces are locals nominated as MPs by the President. These are actually regarded as enemies for accepting jobs in the PF government. Please analysis is better than emotions.

  16. People of Integrity and good Character are hard to find in Zambia today! This is the only thing that explains why we are in a mess as a country!
    HH lacks character just like PF politicians! HH has been exposed by his love for power! Even when he has tried five times unsuccessfully, what makes him think he will get it in 2021? Power does not corrupt. It just brings out the true character of a person. It is not true that power corrupts! Three true tests for character are: Power, Money and Access to S.e.x. (Myles Munroe).

  17. Any law which is progressive for Zambia as long as it does not give advantage to the UPND, then it’s a bad law, any dialogue that does not give advantage to the UPND, that dialogue must be condemned. Anything that does not give them advantage, they condemn, they condemn development, they condemn peace and unity, they condemn good harvest and rains, they condemn passing exams and prosperity. Can one surely say, the UPND party is led by Christians, I doubt it big time because Christianity is about the improvement of lives and saving souls and not destroying them for the sake of plot 1 and being president.

  18. lifwekelo is advising his former party because he misses it. he is covering his desire to go back by criticising and advising. when the environment is conducive he will go back

  19. Aah you mean trib.al Hacks has not attended a convention since he was trib.ally annointed in 2006? Wow!! Trib.als, you have a serious matter on your hands, least of all that trib.al upnd is dying and its trib.al contents don’t even realise it!!

  20. Looks like trib.al Hacks fears to be annointed again, it’s too embarrassing. Elections are anathema to trib.als, they cannot think in any other way but trib.al.

  21. No wonder GVBM is quiet these days. But bo Lifwekelo the idea of old and founder member privilege and protection in political parties is backward. That took CK on the edge in PF. Allow dynamics in parties that build coexistence between the old and the genuine new members. That’s what bo Mwila preaches, thats what the POTROZ ECL preaches. By and large, you nailed it.

  22. remember even Sata people write and said will never be president of Zambia. African politics are you have seen every election HH is gain more what explanation can you give to convince.

  23. The late President Michael C. Sata consistently asked the honorable gentleman Hakainde Hichilema…WHO HIS FATHER IS.

    Can some people in the UPND inner cycle request the honorable gentleman HH to tell us the voters “WHO HIS FATHER IS”.

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