By Isaac Mwanza
The final results of the Chilubi 2020 By-Elections are in and it is time to analyse these numbers to get a feel of the correct picture of what is happening on the ground.
2016 GENERAL ELECTIONS V 2020 BY ELECTIONS
In 2016, the PF candidate for Chilubi polled 13,412 votes and 4 years later, the PF candidate for Chilubi in 2020 by election has polled 16, 553
An Independent Candidate in 2016 General Elections, who was adopted as UPND candidate in 2020, polled 5387 while the UPND candidate had 1243 votes in 2016. By adopting this candidate, the assumption by the UPND was that they would be starting the 2020 race with a potential total of 6630 in its favour. However, the Independent/UPND candidate only managed to poll 4858 votes.
In 2020 by elections, 3 political parties are new entrants into the parliamentary race. They have each polled: NDC – 1308, PAC – 1016 and UPPZ – 279 votes.
The Patriotic Front is the biggest winner in the 2020 by elections. With this win, the PF must utilise it to deliver the 2020 campaign promise to the people of Chilubi if the gains they have made can be consolidated into 2021 victory.
The biggest loser in Chilubi was Chela Stanislaus who had good numbers as an Independent in 2016 but failed maintain that number in 2021, having run on the party ticket of Zambia’s biggest opposition party, the UPND. The UPND may appear to have made some gains but that may not necessarily be true especially that its 2020 candidate already had those numbers in 2016. Where are the UPND voters from 2016, one may ask.
The UPND, in desperate attempt for votes, has been making these decisions were loyal members of the party who have dreams are sacrificed when it comes to choice of leadership and candidates, for political expediency. It happened in Lusaka Mayoral elections and it has now happened in Chilubi. The possibility is that some members who had been building the UPND in Chilubi felt frustrated by adoption of a candidate who has not toiled for the party, and they had to cross and vote for the PF or other new entrants. This may explain the gains the PF made in Chilubi and also the numbers obtained by new entrants.
In 2016, apart from voters who voted for the 2020 UPND candidate, Chilubi had 3446 voters who didn’t want to be associated with either the PF or UPND. In 2020, we can assume this number voted for the new entrants who polled a total of 2603.
But we also had the FDD participating in the 2016 elections to the total votes of 1043. Question is what has happened with this number? These are the numbers again which may have gone to any other candidates in 2020 by elections.
We must also remember that the total votes in 2016 General Elections for Parliamentary Candidates was 25,192 representing 53.97 percent of the total voters. In 2020, a total of 24, 826 voters turned up to vote. This means a total of 366 voters did not vote in comparison to 2016.
The PF has done extremely well and this can be attributed to the robust campaign put up by its Campaign team led by Hon Brian Mundubile and Hon Chitalu Chilufya and those who worked in the background to support this team. Congratulations to the entire team and to Mr Mulenga Fube, the man I lived with in Chunga who has staked his neck for the PF since its formation in 2001.
The NDC, a party barely born a year or two ago has done much more well in Chilubi than parties that existed before. Within these formative stages, the NDC has gotten votes which UPND, the longest opposition party got in 2016. This is progress for NDC but I do not think the NDC see themselves as forming Government in 2020. The best for Mr. Kambwili is to try his luck in 2021 as Sata did and within 2 general elections, the NDC may form Government.
All parties need their think tanks to get down to Chilubi and understand how the people voted in 2020, get the reality and lessons to see whether these numbers are sustainable in 2021 elections