By Kapya Kaoma
The UPND’s decision to petition seats lost to the PF is its democratic right, only that it robs President HH of moral capital and human decency. That Lungu didn’t petition the results, but conceded to HH is in itself disempowering to the President’s moral judgment. The UPND legal committee Chair, Jack Mwiimbu’s claim that the Party does not have a say in these petitions is another example of the cancerous trend of perfidious falsehoods from the truth-allergic “Bally will fix it” Bally worshiper; the President is personally behind these petitions. Sadly, we have to live with the UPND definition of Zambian democracy–unless the result favors HH and his UPND, the election is stolen. This Trump doctrine is detrimental and toxic to Zambian democracy–it is one thing to do so in opposition, but another thing when you’re in power. As we count to 2026, would HH and his MPs accept defeat should Zambians vote them out?
The lunacy of those who drafted, and passed Zambia’s “Copy and Paste” illogical, unkempt and scruffy Constitution are particularly to blame. How can the Presidential election results be upheld, and the President sworn, when his own Party does not accept the results from half of the country? If Parliamentary results are unfair or tainted, the Presidential results cannot be declared otherwise. In short, it’s illogical and senseless to count one as varied, and disqualify the other; it is just common sense. The nullification of Parliamentary results should also mean the nullification of Presidential results. Doesn’t this question the declaration of President HH as the winner of the August 12 election? Until this foolishness is addressed, we will continue to see fallacious petitions at taxpayers’ backs.
Kenyan African Union Commission, High Representative for Infrastructure Development, Raila Odinga’s call on HH not to destroy the opposition is laughable. If President HH has to prove himself, he has to rule with as little opposition as possible. Opposition interests do not matter; he has the interests of the UPND. Should he run unopposed in 2026, that would be his Christmas. Asking him to protect the opposition is simply cuckoo. If the opposition fails to compete with the UPND and dies, it’s not HH’s fault; it is competitive politics for God’s sake. So the PF and other opposition parties must counter President HH’s strategic move or risk eternal death in Zambian politics.
President Hichilema’s dream is to have the UPND majority in Parliament if he has to drive his Capitalist agenda; an almost evenly divided Parliament would block most of his policies. Partially, this is Bally’s own making. As opposition leader, President HH policy was obstruct and obstruct–never work with the PF. This obstructionist agenda killed a number of PF driven policies and Bills; today the tables have turned. Can he rule without the support of the PF? This puts him in a fix, but “Bally will fix it.”
Bally is aware of the ongoing wrangles in the PF camp; the boat is crumbling. Aside from dealing with the shame of losing, it’s financial base is crippled, and most of the “MPs elect” are in the red. With thuggish Kashimba Kambwili, GBM, Nawakwi and Davies Mwila put to rest, and the corrupt adoption of Parliamentary candidates speared by Mwila haunting the PF, Bally is set to sink the captainless Boat.
Politics has no permanent enemies, but common interests. Should these seats be nullified, independents who contested elections, but supported Lungu are the best targets to adopt for by-elections. Most of them are likely to reach a deal with team HH–either join UPND, and be adopted to run on its ticket, or partner with the UPND by supporting its candidates in exchange for government jobs. With this, HH has an opportunity to flip a number of seats, which would likely give him a majority.
Another strategic move is to divide the PF–after all didn’t Lungu do the same? Zambian political parties are not ideologically different, but organized around personal cults. Thus politicians can switch like car gears or sex workers; always looking for who pays. Since HH has the purse, a number of PF politicians are up for taking. And just as Lungu campaigned for PF candidates, HH would do the same–of course on our backs. There’s nothing wrong with this; getting a majority in Parliament is good strategy to President HH’s re-election chances.
But there is also a danger. If the results are upheld, and those MPs are seated, the UPND will have to live with the shame of losing twice. Those MPs would become a pain in the neck for the UPND. Besides, early by-elections in his baby Presidency will cost Zambians millions. For a president who is promising fiscal responsibility, these elections would prove wasteful to masses. They may also force some voters to protest against HH–mostly those who are very unhappy with his victory. Generally, pain, anger and shame drive voters to the polls. This could work against the UPND given that many of these seats are in areas favorable to the PF.
In addition, mass by-elections would test the UPND public support. There is no doubt that the turnout won’t be as good as that of the General election, but with Lungu gone, would Bally voters be angry enough to turn up on election day? At the time people are awaiting the fulfillment of HH’s false promises, it would be a risky decision to return on a campaign trail.
The PF would love to fight HH with the apolitical Police Inspector, and without the UPND cadres. It would strategically capitalize on his campaign lies; politicize the schools and increase protests to test how far HH could go with his promise to respect human rights–the world will be watching. If the UPND wins these elections, the PF dies like UNIP and MMD. A loss, however, could be an embarrassing beginning to his presidency.
The good news for the UPND is, like the Police and Anti-Corruption Commission, the President defines what constitutes justice in the rotten judiciary. The PF and other parties should expect a number of seats to be declared vacant to appease His Excellency, the Law Definer, the President of Zambia, Bally the Savior. With no cost to petitioners, taxpayers shall spend hundreds of millions of Kwachas on nullified seats. Until the law requires petitioners to pay for the costs incurred in the court proceedings, and related damages to the original winner, this foolishness will continue to drain public coffers.
Bally, would the UPND ever learn to lose with honor? Pride without honor is foolishness.