Thursday, June 13, 2024

About the New UPND Manifesto: Whats Really New in It?


By Sean Tembo – PeP President

1. As one of the key advocates of issue-based politics in Zambia, l have always looked forward to the release of the much talked about New Manifesto for the main opposition United Party for National Development. Now that it is out, it is time for me to give my views of what l think about it. For those UPND members and supporters that may have a thin skin and are fuming that l am discussing their beloved party’s new manifesto, l wish to remind them that that’s what issued-based politics is all about; you release your new manifesto, we your competitors poke some holes in it, you defend your position and the Zambian people make their own judgement and conclusion. That’s how the much talked about democracy works.

2. First of all l wish to state that l was impressed with the graphic design and presentation format. I think it was very much on point. Also l think the size of 20 pages was perfect. Not too small and not too big. This is often a difficult balance to strike. The last version of the PF Manifesto that l was reading had 67 pages, and l think that was too bulky. Suffice to mention that our PeP Manifesto is 24 pages, so we had some kind of meeting of the minds with the UPND and their 20 page new manifesto here.

3. My overall take on the substance of the new UPND manifesto is that it was very big on what a potential UPND Government will do for Zambia and very thin on how they will do it. In the few areas where they included the “HOW”, it lacked specificity and was largely just a waffle. For example, under Chapter 3, the paragraph on private sector development says that this will be achieved by “improving the business environment and reducing the cost of doing business” but does not specify how the business environment will be improved or how the cost of doing business will be reduced.

This makes it difficult for any reasonable Zambian to determine whether or not the UPND have a good plan for the country’s economic development. Now compare and contrast with Chapter 10 of the 2018 PeP Manifesto on Reforms in the Business Environment which states in paragraph 15; “a PeP Government will ensure that the cost of doing business in Zambia is significantly reduced by, among other things, eliminating the number of licenses that a business requires in order to operate. This will be done through the establishment of a National Licensing Authority that will be a one-stop licensing authority which will issue a single license that will cover everything from fire, health etc.” It is only when a manifesto is specific that people can take a position on whether they agree with it or not. But the new UPND Manifesto is neither here nor there.

Many reasonable Zambians are likely to doubt that a potential Republican President who is unable to pay attention to the detail of a one page statement will be able to pay attention to the details of running an entire country with its complex social-economic dynamics.

4. I was also disappointed with the first Chapter of the new UPND Manifesto which talked about “Message from the President”. First of all, the entire chapter is laced with too many grammatical and spelling mistakes. Now, we are not saying that any of us is an Englishman here, no. Of course English is not our first language. But if a potential Republican President in a one-page statement, then the grammar and spellings have to be on point. The same amount of effort and attention to detail that was allocated to the graphic design of the new UPND Manifesto, should have been allocated to correcting grammatical and spelling mistakes in the document, especially in the first chapter that talked about a “Message from the President”. This is especially so because the UPND Party President put his portrait there.

If you sign a statement or put your portrait there, then you better make sure that the content is on point, otherwise you end up looking like a joker who is not serious. For example, in line 17 of the Message from the President, it says; “…They can rest assured that through our collective effort …” Instead of; “…They can BE rest assured that through our collective effort…” Many reasonable Zambians are likely to doubt that a potential Republican President who is unable to pay attention to the detail of a one page statement will be able to pay attention to the details of running an entire country with its complex social-economic dynamics. There appears to be no evidence of competence here.

5. I was equally taken aback by the propensity in the new UPND Manifesto, to book-lift other people’s ideas without permission. This shows a total lack of innovation and competence. For example, the theme for the new UPND Manifesto is; creating a United Prosperous and Equitable Zambia. This bears an eerie resemblance to President Charles Chanda’s United Prosperous and Peaceful Zambia (UPPZ) party. In fact l do believe that Mr Charles Chanda can sue for copyright infringement here. As the main opposition political party in Zambia today, surely the UPND can do better than a copy and paste job of other people’s ideas.

6. I could go on and on, but of late l have received too many complaints about the length of my articles, so l will seek to oblige the linguistically uninitiated and end here. But before l do, if l was allowed to score the new UPND Manifesto, l would give it a 3 out of 10. And all the 3 points are for presentation. Substance theliz no


  1. He is busy reading other people’s manifestos. When Is PeP going for a conversation? When can I fill in my nomination papers to stand on PEP ticket? Where’s the party secretariat? These are some of the questions PEP have not answered….lol

  2. Sean Tembo should show us PeP’s Manifesto so that we can compare it to that of UPND and PF. Tembo cannot win the Hearts and Minds of Zambian Voters by merely criticising other Political Parties. Tembo claims that it’s only him and PeP who have the solutions to Zambia’s problems. Show us PEP’s Plan or Manifesto. U can’t just critique other Parties Manifestos.Sean Tembo should sell PeP’s Manifesto to the People and and People will choose which Manifesto is the best. Tembo should tell us who is who in Team PeP and when is their Party holding a Convention? Who are the PeP Presidential and Running Mate Candidates for the 2021 Elections? Sean Tembo should spend more time telling the Voters what he and his Party are offering to Zambians.

  3. In a reality, how can a party-the largest opposition-only put up a manifesto a few months before an election??? What have they been planning to do for the country since 2006 and having participated in 5 national elections??? Upnd should be kept away from power at all costs.

  4. I had similar observations about the UPND Manifesto on the HOW to achieve the economic emancipation of our country. Please talk more about the turn-around economic strategies for many of the undecided voters to come to the party.

  5. Who clobbered Sean Tembo? Who designed the PEP party Logo? So on and so forth. All these questions have not been answered. How can we go into an election like this? Huh

  6. A very well-articulated article. If UPND had the substance and articulated well their manifesto to the electorate they would have long been in power, but the style of just parroting the opposite of the mistakes made by the ruling party has not helped them much. Zambia is blessed with diverse leadership styles. We must accept that We have different leadership styles in Zambia, but the one that finally goes to plot one is one that wins the hearts of the electorate. The Americans recognised the fact that besides the natural electorates you have individuals who vote intelligently after analysing the policies of that political parties and so they allocate more votes to such. If we had a system like that, then Sean Tembo would be a commendable candidate for an electoral college voter. Everyone…

  7. …If we had a system like that, then Sean Tembo would be a commendable candidate for an electoral college voter. Everyone can write but to explain the how party tells your readers whether or not you are able to do it. These vague manifestos are not helping anyone but misleading everyone.

  8. Ba Tembo you are spot on.UPND being the largest opposition party, much is expected from them.We have been waiting for this document for the past 15yrs but it still fails to tell the people on how they will achieve these goals,it shows UPND has never been ready to take over govt it’s ALL TRY YOUR LUCK.

  9. Sean Tembo u are not our Spokesman or interpreter. We are intelligent enough to read the UPND Manifesto and judge for ourselves.U can your opinion of the UPND Manifesto to yourself. Sean Tembo should launch PeP’ s Manifesto now with 4 months to go b4 the August 12 Elections. Tembo should be busy explaining PEP’s Manifesto instead of critiquing UPND’s Manifesto for 2021 to 2026.By the way when is the Pep Convention? Is Sean Tembo the Presidential Candidate for PeP in 2021? Who is who in Team Sean Tembo? Where is PEP’s Head 0office or Secretariat? Sean Tembo has nothing to talk about except to tarnish the Image and Reputation of HH and UPND. By so doing Sean Tembo is popularizing HH and UPND unknowingly.

  10. Kikikikikikijukija
    Awe sure.
    Sean uyu kuti akusekesha.
    Katwishi ngafyamba nangu ma drugs.
    According to Wikimedia a manifesto is a published declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of the issuer, be it an individual, group, political party or government. A manifesto usually accepts a previously published opinion or public consensus or promotes a new idea with prescriptive notions for carrying out changes the author believes should be made. It often is political or artistic in nature, but may present an individual’s life stance. Manifestos relating to religious belief are generally referred to as creeds.
    Word limit or detailed does not come out here, Yangu! Copyright? That is the topic of another day.

  11. If I were LT, I would have presented this as the article’s title.

    Tembo spots lacunas in the fast tracked upndead manifesto: falls in love with it’s looks.

  12. Or
    SEAN marks the UPNDEAD Manifesto as they fail to reach the passmark. (3/10)
    UPNDEAD’S Manifesto has nothing pragmatic in it but for it’s pretty looks and small size.
    UPNDEAD’S manifesto handsome but impotent.
    UPNDEAD’S Manifesto marred with grammatical errors and purely copyrighted.
    PACRA Copyright unit has a job: As beautiful hurried UPNDEAD Manifesto falls short of minimum standards.

  13. Sean Tembo should look himself in the Mirror and tell us where is the PeP Manifesto? Where is PEP’s Head Office? When will PeP hold a Convention? What’s Team Sean Tembo at Pep? Is Sean Tembo standing as a Presidential Candidate during the 2021 Elections in Zambia. More questions than answers.

  14. If Sean Tembo thinks that by critiquing the UPND Manifesto that will make him and his Kantemba Party popular he is
    mistaken. Sean Tembo should speak to PeP’s Manifesto and get People to buy into it. HH and UPND have a base to speak to. What does PeP have? Who is who in Pep apart from Sean Tembo? Sean Tembo appears to be an ECL surrogate. Is he not? Is Sean Tembo standing as a Pep Presidential Candidate in the upcoming August 12 Elections? More questions than answers.

  15. I have just ordered 100 copies of this manifesto. June is coming soon and I need something to start my fires with during the cold. So I can burn these nonsense and also I can use it to wipe my backside.

    Right now I am just meeting with a upnd member who is wanting to move to pf. There are so many who have been calling me pleading to be accepted to pf

  16. It is rest assured, not can be rest assured!
    With that being said, the UPND manifesto does need to have more of a how approach. Anyone can promise, few tell you how.
    So far, no one has done a better job of showing the how than KBF’s Zambia Can prosper.
    As a side note, 80 percent of voters in Zambia do not read, not even Manifestos, so wasting time on these documents shouldn’t be an issue.

  17. Manifestos provide only the barest minimum. They’re not a blue print for running government. Only the naive pay too much attention to them. If Sean Enock Tembo wants to be taken seriously, he should not be taking any political party manifesto seriously, including that of PeP. As for spelling errors, that’s a fair point because they are inexcusable in the era of spell check. But I draw the line at grammatical errors. English is a borrowed language and we use it in official communication, courts, the school system and business because of our history. We’re a post-colonial state which owes its very existence as a political entity to British colonialism. There’s no escaping that.

  18. A few months before the presidential election, you are talking about other party manifestos.
    Where is the Pep store manifesto or anything like it?
    Busy giving free publicity to others.

  19. The UPND Manifesto is not there to please Sean Tembo. We the Voters are very happy with the Manifesto. Who is Sean Tembo to tell us what a Good Manifesto look like? Whether Sean Tembo likes it or not most People have placed their hope in HH and UPND and are going to Vote for Change inspired by HH aka Bally will fix it.

  20. Sorry, manifestos do not have to say HOW or COST the intentions. A manifesto is a declaration of intent. The Costing can be published separately. A manifesto is a sign post to WHERE the party wants to go, not how it gets there. A manifesto is the wood and not the trees. It is a vision not an action plan. When you have a vision you then work on how to implement it. Unfortunately, in the last 7 years, we have implementation without a vision. We have tarred roads but people are sleeping in shanty houses. We have supermarkets but the tellers cannot afford the same goods they punch out at the counter. We have brand new hospitals, but no staff and medicines. We have flyover bridges but no running water. Security people have houses, but no pensions. No vision but loans and debts!

  21. Sean Tembo is an arm critic, he should join forces with UPND so that his talent could be made use by Zambians who need to move forward.


  23. HH has to be specific, numbers that we can see and understand. He can look at parties in the West for ideas otherwise Lungi will come back again.

  24. Is this the social contract from the UPND to Zambians? Its too shallow to upset the perceived economic malaise the country is facing. Hakainde Hichilema is imagined to be the economy turn around guru and he has betrayed himself on paper, but the biggest betrayal is in his heart spilling onto paper

  25. An election manifesto is not like an economic plan, it’s not like a national budget. It’s just a broad outline of policy with few details.

  26. Looks like all else has been manifestoed by anybody else and there’s little or nothing else left for someone to manifesto. The key should be strong leadership and the drive to implement blue prints which have never been in short supply

  27. There are a lot of undecided voters out there who need information about what each political party vying for office will do. Yes a manifesto is a statement of intent, but it should be clear on its intentions. The manifesto must give us some hope of a credible alternative. Attention to detail is the key here unless one ignores that section of voters who read and analyse issues before they vote, this group can make a difference.

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