Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Saying Lungu Will Win is Not Blasphemy: UPND and Dr. Sishuwa’s Dangerous Election Expectation

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By Kapya Kaoma.

To UPND cadres, questioning if HH will win this election is tantamount to doubting if Jesus is the Son of God. Such reasoning cannot only be considered undemocratic and unpatriotic, but also be deadly and dangerous. We may campaign for change, but we should be morally responsible to respect the dual outcome of democratic elections; it can go either way. Thus we shouldn’t only expect or promote one outcome: a win for HH. It is akin to promoting post election violence.

As a democracy, we entrust Zambians to answer this question on August 12 through a ballot, not rallies, Opinion and Feature articles, or Polls. Understandably, UPND cadres are convinced, HH has already WON. Who can doubt it? The PF is rotten to the core, knows no law, and is morally inept. And has Bally not said it? “Change is written everywhere.” The cadre syndrome–the failure to reason beyond one’s party biases is behind this rationale.

In his Monday, August 9, 2021, Lusaka Times Featured Article, for example, Dr. Sishuwa Sishuwa presented various issues at play in this election. His analysis was solely centered on President Lungu’s undemocratic habitude–including his recent shameful threat to arrest HH should he win the election. Missing, however, were HH’s own missteps in the past 5 years. From failure to sustain good alliances to intra-party conflicts, the UPND has lacked a sustained message to unseat the Lungu regime.

In 1991, Zambians wanted change, but all politicians settled for Chiluba, as opposed to over a dozen candidates–that was before a 50+1 threshold. While his piece has a number of “conspiracy theories, ” I want to highlight one in which he claims Lungu wanted one candidate to drop out so as to postpone the Presidential elections. It seems this hoax is behind Nevers Mumba’s recent statement that he is still in the race. This is a dangerous route; if the word goes out that elections are postponed, many people may stay away from the Polls.

The big number of candidates makes it harder for HH and Lungu to get 50+1. In case of the rerun, these candidates would be king makers. Naturally they would support HH, but the UPND has repeatedly failed to form alliances with other candidates; this is a weakness that cannot be blamed on the PF but solely on HH. Sishuwa’s observations on M’membe doing better than other candidates, though important, is another example of HH’s lack of strategic thinking. Why adopt Mrs. Mutinta Mazoka M’membe as a UPND Parliamentary Candidate, knowing too well that the husband would be running against him? What makes him think M’membe does not know the inside info about the UPND strategy? Mutinta is a liability to HH, but since she is a Mazoka, HH is held captive. Assuming M’membe wins, would Mutinta refuse to be the First Lady? Strategic planning is just as important as voting, but the UPND has Lungu to blame for lack of it.

Sishuwa did not mention the fact that not everybody shouting ” alebwelelapo,” or “Faka Pressure” and attending rallies will cast a vote; a number won’t. Crowds won’t translate into actual votes. It is hard to know how many people polled are actually going to vote. Zambia is anti-voter friendly; so many people won’t vote. It is a shame that Patson Daka was flying the Zambian Flag at Wembley on Saturday with pride, yet he is among the many Zambians who won’t cast their votes. So are many of those who are posting on social media or relocated, they can shout, but can’t vote. This will be a factor.

Moreover, the Bally team underestimated Lungu’s strategic capabilities. So far, Bally has not beaten Lungu by double digits in any single Poll–the number generally needed for a challenger to unseat the Incumbent. As Incumbent, Lungu has unlimited resources at his disposal. Sishuwa’s observation on the “preferential” treatment of Lungu over HH though varied, ignores the fact that Lungu’s campaign cannot be separated from his work as the President of the Republic of Zambia. Lungu is flying across the country to highlight his achievements as both President and presidential candidate. In competitive politics, nothing is apolitical. From visiting a market to entering a public toilet to holding a crying baby to attending a Church service, a politician is making a political statement. And Lungu has done this so well in his re-election efforts.

The PF strategists disarmed the HH team of one of its biggest arsenal – – the bad economy. From GBM to Nawakwi to Kambwili, the economy song was the same–the economic downturn has been slow due to various factors. The COVID-19 Pandemic led to the global economic crunch. Prices are up, but Lungu is working on it. Aside from linking HH to the 1990s privatization scam, they borrowed M’membe’s attacks to define HH as a selfish man who cares only for his own personal interests. “He did it then, imagine what he would do when he is president”–it is a compelling populist message. They point to infrastructure–airports, good roads, bridges, power generators, hospitals, and health care centers among many projects as evidence that Lungu is working hard for Zambia. These visible infrastructure cannot be easily dismissed–ordinary people don’t see “Mr. International Debt,” despite how many times team HH, and scholars highlight it. Inkongole of over $13 billion is a national crisis, but it is invisible to the masses–it is a policy argument that makes sense to the elite, which is a very small part of the electorate. Worse still, the effects of this debt will be felt in the future.

In addition, the Lungu team strategically timed the completion of many projects so as to unveil them as campaign capital. When HH says Lungu did nothing, the PF points to Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe Airport, ongoing work at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, and other infrastructure to showcase its work. This narrative is convincingly appealing. We can hardly dispute the fact that the PF has given Zambia its deserved respect when it comes to infrastructure–we were a shame of Southern Africa. HH and some of us know that corruption and mismanagement are involved, but the majority doesn’t.

Similarly, team HH repeatedly argued that the depreciation of the Kwacha was indicative that Lungu was killing the economy. Now that the Kwacha is appreciating, team HH wants to dismiss it as fake. Yet economists know that international factors control the value of the local currency–putting Bally in a fix. The same could be said about the debt swap for civil servants. That Unions applauded the gesture, and put HH a+in a fix–they couldn’t dismiss it without appearing to be anti-civil service.

Sishuwa’s claim that Lungu wanted to separate Presidential elections from Parliamentary elections defies logic. Generally, more people vote in general elections than in special or by-elections because of the pool of people contesting. In fact, this is one area the HH team has been weak–it has put so much emphasis on winning the presidency. Parliamentary and Local government elections are critical to which party wins the Presidency. Against all odds, HH could win the Presidency, but not the Parliament and the local government. This would mean that he won’t govern. That aside, people generally vote down the ballot–rarely do people vote for a different presidential candidate, and a different MP, and a different Mayor or Councilor. This is the reason we have very few independent MPs. The failure to fully fund UPND MPs and local government elections across the nation could prove very costly to HH. This is the area where the power of the Incumbent overshadows the UPND. Lungu is campaigning for his MPs, Mayors and Councilors even in areas he knows they won’t win–their votes are his votes.

Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu once said, “To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.” By rejoining the PF, Kambwili, Professor Geoffrey Lungwangwa, Banda, and GBM among many others have brought with them insider information about the UPND which has contributed to the destabilization and disruption of HH’s campaign.

GBM and Kambwili are cited for tribalism, but the truth remains–our political system is tribalistic. The UPND has locked in the Tonga and Lozi vote, and the PF has locked in the Bemba and Eastern vote. We may pretend, but when we enter the polling station, most Bembas and their senseless cousins will vote for Lungu because he is not Tonga and vice versa. HH is hoping that the majority of Zambians have moved to see him aside from his tribe, I pray that the Tongas would do the same to Lungu. Yes the UPND has made some inroads in PF strongholds but so has the PF in the UPND strongholds. Moreover M’membe and Kalaba are the new players who are complicating the political landscape. It seems the closest HH would come to Plot 1 is to force a rerun, but would he have enough allies to cross the finish line?

Given HH’s lack of long-term strategy, the power of the Incumbent and the congruence of other factors, it is hard to see how HH would win this election as Sishuwa suggests. I may be wrong. After all, the electorate is always unpredictable. Who thought Donald Trump would beat Hillary Clinton and become 45th President of the United States? All Polls and experts favored Clinton, but on election day, the electorate voted for Trump. In politics, everything is possible.

For this reason, I find Sishuwa and UPND expectations deadly and dangerous–we should not only expect one outcome: a win for HH. Disturbingly, this is another Trumpian invitation to violence. All votes must be counted and whoever get 50+1 wins. To claim that the only “free and fair election” is the one that will see HH in Plot 1 is a recipe for violence–words and conspiracy theories can be deadly. Our analyses, and polls are based on observations, but the real truth will be known on August 12 after the last vote is cast and all votes are counted.

Good luck to Lungu and HH; only one will win. We have one Zambia to Protect.

May God bless our Great Nation, Zambia.

32 COMMENTS

  1. Well written. Now let us go and vote and ensure the country continues to develop. This is not the time for experiments. Wina azalila na futi.

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  2. Well analyzed article. The author though, forgot to mention something about rent-a-mob. The UPND believes its own propaganda. They’ve already started like they did in 2016 of raising alot of hope to their supporters then create a narrative as a party strategy of the VOTES being stolen when infact not its just the hiding SHAME for HH and the UPND.

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  3. Every well informed citizen of Zambia knows that PF cannot win a free and fair election. No wonder the opposition does not want to hear that Lungu will win this election and this is coming from the way the opposition has been treated in this country by the ruling party. The political playing field has been very rough and the facts are there for all to see

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  4. A very good analysis written by seemingly an unbiased author. In a scale of 1-10, I give you 8. You’re greatly intelligent. This is what is termed as fair and objective writing.

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  5. We are flying in today so that was can cast our votes tomorrow, cant wait to see the back of you, you have brought suffering and pain to many Zambians, chi colour you are gone and take those yellow dirty stinking teeth with you to chanwama….

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  6. Just the name sounds like chisushi his writings are always full of a mixture of beans, garlic, ginger and boiled eggs.
    Mailo futi na futi.

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  7. One possibility is that HH could win with few members of parliament. As mentioned the UPND campaign is about HH being president.

  8. Despite creating an uneven playing ground I very certain HH & UPND Alliance will carry the day. Lungu and his once Mighty PF have tried all tricks to disadvantage HH and UPND campaign effort using the police, and ZAF. Whatever stumbling blocks were put into the way of HH & UPND Alliance will not stop people from voting out Lungu and the once Mighty PF from power. We have all the respect for Lungu and his once Mighty PF for putting up a spirited fight that it is supposed to be though they committed a lot of fouls luckily for them the biased referee never showed a red card. BYE BYE BA ONCE MIGHTY PF. Kapya Kaoma thank you for your narrative article but things on the ground country wide people need change. M’membe and Kalaba’s parties will replace the PF as credible opposition parties…

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  9. BOTH PF AND UPND SHOULD TELL THEIR SUPPORTERS THAT IT IS POSSIBLE TO LOSE. MOST OF US JUST WANT PEACE IN OUR NATION. GOD BLESS ZAMBIA.

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  10. Great piece Ba Kapya Kaoma. Sishuwa Sishuwa is only good at giving one-sided narratives. It is not healthy for an academic to be as highly opinionated as Sishuwa is.

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  11. Kaoma, since you had no time to reflect and review how biased your views in this article are, just see how PF cadres are happy with your myopic views. Your views are just meant to disparage HH and UPND. HH and UPND has survived as an increasingly strong opposition party over many electoral cycles and you still think HH and UPND donot have long term political strategies!!! This 12th August is indeed going to result in a changed political landscape in Zambia due to long-term endurance of UPND and its alliance partners.

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  12. ASSUMING THAT THE VOTE CLOSES AT 18;00 HRS ON 12 TH AUGUST AND COUNTING COMMENCES. EVERY PARTY REPRSENTATIVE WILL BE ALLOWED TO SEND FIGURES TO THE PARTY ELECTION MANAGER AS SOON AS THEY FINISH COUNTING. BY FRIDAY 18HRS ON THE 13TH, THE WINNER WOULD BE KNOWN. ANYOF THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDITATES RUSHING TO THE MEDIA AFTER THAT CLAINING THE RIGGING OF THE ELECTION, “JUST KNOW THAT SUCH A ONE HAS LOST”

  13. ..a slight counter balance on the Sun Tzu principle of the the insider operational info that GBM, CK and ilk have take to PF I guess we may say the same of what KBF, former PF campaign strategist 2015/2016, has also taken to UPND.
    And realistically the chances of Mutinta Mazoka becoming first lady this year are next to nil so that is a fallacy and to “assume” political espionage is only going to the Socialist Party side is neither here or there because it could just as well be going the other side; we just do not know.
    There a few more holes as well Kapya in your opine here as well just as Sishuwa had his. It feels skewed towards PF the way Sishuwa’s are towards UPND, only that at least for him he is in the open as a UPND sympathizer. Chose a side as well. Openly. Do not get…

  14. Well written and thank you for advising upnd. I have listen to my good friends in upnd, they never took the effort to convince me. As far as they are concerned, my vote did not matter because HH has won already. I was told on how wealthy the man is, which company he own and brabrabra. Tomorrow, we decide and I am happy you have tried to work them to reality. Thank rev.

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  15. An excellent analysis of the current political situation in Zambia. Let’s approach this election with open minds. Anything can happen and let all well meaning Zambians accept the upcoming election results. We are one Zambia, one Nation. Let peace prevail. God bless you Kaoma, and God bless Zambia.

  16. This is one of the most balanced and intelligent articles I have read in many years.

    Ba Kaoma please start a non partisan media house so that we can get more iodf this type of journalism. Well done

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  17. Has Kapya Kaoma really checked his facts? Mutinta Mazoka is not a parliamentary candidate on the UPND ticket. It’s public information that she had applied to stand but she was not adopted. And what has HH got to do about what Mutinta Mazoka wants to do in politics? She’s an adult and a free agent. Why should HH answer for this?

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  18. Whether what this little anarchist kapya Kaoma has written is wrong or right one thing I am sure of is that “Alebwelelapo pamupando”.
    This boy is full of satire. I hate characters with satirical connotations in their scripts or verbatim.
    I like the part where he analyzes and indirectly tutors his fellow small boy – sishuwa.
    Next we hear simple sishuwa responding as ECL commands lead.

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  19. And Zambians think they live in a poor country just look at how hyenas Edward Chagwa Lungu and HH are fighting for leadership…Lungu has tasted the honey and he doesn’t want to let go…HH wants to taste that honey too…. so Zambia is rich but where does all our go?????….you see where America sees money they always poke their nose

  20. ‘Would Mutinta refuse to be the First Lady?’
    The answer to this question is a question. Would Mmembe want a first LADY?’
    Mutinta sticking with her father’s party speaks volumes about the bedroom situation in the Mmembe household.

  21. Kaoma’s writings inspire many people. He can dismantle PF as much as he often times disassembles UPND. Sometimes one may not know which side he belongs. It is hard to find these people, Sishuwa Sishuwa, Field Ruwe, Henry Kyambalesa, W E. Kamirichiki, analysing without sounding cadre-like.

  22. I wonder what you are thinking now, considering you failed to mention that hunger,injustice, unemployment are key drivers for youth vote.

    Ooooh you sound all pro lungu.. good luck but he lost…. next time be fair

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