Sunday, June 16, 2024

Interpreting the meaning of PF win in the East

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By Prince Bill M. Kaping’a Political/Social Analyst

After suffering shock defeat in the August 2021 general elections, PF is at least consoled, in what Republican Vice President Mutale Nalumango aptly refers to as, ‘retaining’ their seats in Eastern province in the recently held by-elections. PF leaders were of course quick to pop the champagne and pat themselves on their backs as they reveled in this sweet victory!

While congratulating her team for winning the elections, as if she’s the Alfa and the Omega, FDD leader Edith Nawakwi charged that President Hakainde Hichilema will only rule for one term; further accusing him of winning the August elections by fluke!

And speaking after Dr. Mwanza was declared winner, PF Central Committee Member in charge of Information and Publicity Rapheal Nakachinda claimed the victory is the beginning of UPND losing the 2026 general elections.

Widely respected scholar Sishuwa Sishuwa equally shared his views in his article aptly titled, “Why the PF won the Kaumbwe parliamentary election.” He argued that the PF’s campaign message of ethnic marginalisation proved effective or found fertile ground in Kaumbwe. Sishuwa further observed that the other reason why PF secured the Kaumbwe parliamentary seat is that the constituency has been a stronghold of the former ruling party for some time now.

He went on to state that the UPND had a poor or ineffective campaign strategy in Kaumbwe built around party chairperson for elections Gary Nkombo, a non-Easterner, and opportunistic PF members such as Peter Daka and Moses Mawere. He concluded by emphasizing that the PF did a good job identifying a candidate who commanded greater grassroots support and had established a lot of community projects in the area.

While we may concur with Sishuwa’s assumptions in a certain way, it’s also important to delve into the annals of recent history to better understand the systematic voting patterns in the region. This would definitely help us better understand why PF managed to pull this one off.

During the much-anticipated 1991 general elections when the nation rejected the one-party rule and instead opted to settle for multiparty politics, final results gave the MMD 125 seats, with UNIP winning the remaining 25. Out of these, UNIP retained all the 19 parliamentary seats in Eastern province, managing to salvage the remaining 6 seats in selected parts of the country.

Fast forward 1996 when the Chiluba regime tampered with the constitution to bar UNIP leader, Dr. Kenneth D. Kaunda, from participating in the elections due to the parentage clause, the party would commit political suicide by boycotting the polls! With UNIP out of the race, MMD would easily amass131 parliamentary seats countrywide, leaving 3 other political parties and Independents to share the remaining 19 seats amongst themselves.

And by 2001 when the electorate trooped back to the polls, MMD’s lion’s share of seats would be reduced to a paltry 69 seats; thanks to the baby born with teeth in the mouth, the UPND which would wrestle impressive 49 slots! By this time, UNIP had long awakened from slumber, managing to re-claim 13 seats in its traditional stronghold of Eastern province.

However, during the 2006 elections, UNIP would go into an alliance with other political parties in an attempt to improve its fortunes. MMD would completely annihilate UNIP in the Eastern block and proceed to thump other opposition political parties; confining the likes of PF to Northern, Luapula, Copperbelt and Lusaka provinces and UPND to Western, Southern and Central provinces and Copperbelt rural.

During the 2011 scintillating general elections that would see MMD being deposed from power, PF would comfortably bag 60 seats in Northern, Copperbelt, Luapula and Lusaka provinces, while MMD would retain 55 seats in Eastern, Luapula and Northern provinces. UPND would manage to win 28 seats in Southern, North western and Western provinces and Copperbelt rural.

With the country very much polarized due to tribal rhetoric spewed by reckless and selfish politicians, the 2016 general elections would reveal a country divided into two regions – much of north-east regions would go to PF, while south-west would go to UPND.

And by the time elections were held in 2021, the political terrain would remain pretty much the same; save for the UPND penetrating into hitherto PF strongholds, claiming victory in urbanized provinces such as Copperbelt and Lusaka provinces. The party would equally perform well at the Presidential level in some parts of northern and eastern regions although the party would lose lamentably at parliamentary level due to floating unpopular candidates.

Is it therefore correct to insinuate that a win for PF in Eastern province is simply a harbinger for better things to come for the former ruling party, while a loss for ruling UPND entails a quick departure from State House come 2026?Wrong!

If you referred back to our history, you would appreciate that Eastern province remained loyal to UNIP for a long time even as other regions were hankering for change. There’s actually a shared belief that it actually took years for those in rural areas to realize that KK had long been extracted from power! And finally, when people got fed up of MMD and chose to eject the same from power, easterners would stick with MMD for a while. It’s hardly surprising that ba kumawa have elected to continue flirting with PF even the rest of the country is embracing change as demonstrated by the results from by-elections held in different parts of the country at the same time.

You got to respect Easterners for who they are. They are a highly conservative lot, not easily moved by ‘ichimwela.’ Once the UPND starts delivering to their satisfaction, particularly in the agriculture sector, the entire province including Petauke where Lungu supposedly hails from would have switched camp pronto! Watch this space!

20 COMMENTS

  1. Article far too long. Eastern is just PF stronghold plain and simple. Zambians have enough of lies and deceit from ECL, GL, you name them. Let’s see what 2026 brings, at least we have five years without PF thieving cadres.

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  2. I wish the author would also take time to write on why his province, Western and Southern Province voted 99 percent Upnd. This should be an honest analysis not the waffling CHANGE OF WIND.

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  3. One thing for sure,……..

    UPND will not take elections lightly again…..

    They have been snaped out of celebratory mode by this loss, because even HEHH campaigned……….

    It is true that once the effective rule of the new GRZ , people will be happy with UPND, there is still the deadly tribal rhetoric been pushed by PF……….

    The new GRZ needs to apply the law to tribal attacks in campaigns…….

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  4. “Western and Southern Province voted 99 percent Upnd” – Deja Vu. UPND will have to work extremely hard against this deadly voting pattern. Politics is not bureaucracy. Politicians will optimize this kind of crude voting and watch when Luapula, Northern, Muchinga and Eastern give 99 percent to PF in 2026.
    “deadly tribal rhetoric been pushed” – Spaka. It is not rhetoric but real problem. Let’s work hard against it. At least I have told you Spaka, Spaka-like-lilo!! KK did not like Great People of Luapula such that his tribal mates easterners gave almost zero votes to FTJ-The Luapula Boy.

  5. When did the carlington maize scandal person become a semi God for her to say HH will rule for one term. HH is ruling for over two terms, start managing your Kaumbwe excitement better. Not sure why defunct FDD with only five people country wide is still talking. Kaumbwe is just a tribal vote in favour of the vanquished ECL and nothing else

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  6. As PF we don’t want all the leaders who made us loose the August 12 elections, so stop using pictures of Lubinda, Nakachinda and Kambwili when writing stories about us. We are looking for new and vibrant blood. Kaumbwe victory is too little and too late, we already lost government. Not sure why even outsiders who we don’t endorse like Nawakwi are in celebratory mood, totally misaligned

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  7. UPND is a one term Political party and definitely 2026 they will lose big time and go into obliviation….HH has proven to be just a useless Politician after making noise for 20 years and is this all can come up with…useless makaka baby President..he lied to Zambians and now he doesn’t know what to do….methodical…my backside

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  8. #Saulosi You are one of the useless guys who used to masterbate day and night ati HH will never be president. Nomba HH is the president of Zambia, Now the noise has changed ati HH ni one term, so waht if it is one term? PF WILL NEVER RULE ZAMBIA AGAIN ! .We don’t want thuggerism, corruption and tribalism.

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  9. Kapin’ga is hoping if UPND delivers to the satisfaction of Easterners, people of that region will begin to support UPND. What he fails to tell us is why UPND left out Eastern Province UPND stalwart Levy Ngoma from the campaign and instead decided to fall for the PF opportunistic rejects of Peter Daka and Moses Mawere. Kapin’ga would have done well to look at UPND performance so far in trying to meet the fantastic promises it made to the electorate. It is clear, people of Kaumbwe have become disillusioned with the UPND performance. No little wonder they were telling the PF campaign team to apologise on their behalf to ECL for voting out PF. Easterners who are largely agrarian have began to see through the UPND and Bally lies of 12 fertiliser bags per farmer, reduction in the price of a…

  10. … fertiliser bag to K 250, a bag of mealie meal to K50. Add to this the soaking of maize produce by early rains and lack of grain bags. Not even the lame excuse of working with a PF budget could save the UPND from electoral defeat in Kaumbwe. People are realising fast that UPND will not fulfill its electoral promises any time soon. The slow pace of appointments to critical positions in government lends credence to this particular view. It is a matter of time before the other regions beyond Eastern Province begin to realise this.

  11. I TOTALLY disagree. Look at the turnout. Lungu won by more than 10,000 votes in August, but this time, the PF MP won by about 7,000 votes. This means that 3,000 PF voters did not vote for the PF MP. HH won about 3,000 votes and his UPND MP has also won about the same minus a few hundreds. This goes to show that UPND vote stayed strong. Granted that the PF MP won, but PF supporters did not turn up to vote. Come 2026, they may turn up to vote UPND- that will be 3,000 more votes for UPND and if they do well, they will scoop the seat in 2026.

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  12. @Red Square
    I forgive you my dear brethren for you don’t know what’s really happening on the ground…your small god makaka baby President HH is just trying to keep a brave face but otherwise he knows 2026 he is packing…no wonder he didn’t want to move into state house he knew his stay will be very brief and I doubt it if he will even last 2 years….watch this space…

  13. @14 RSA
    I driver UBER yes…and if I look at how much I make at the end of the month…close to what the vice President of Zambia makes and my wife is a Lawyer…how about that….!!!! and by the I lived in RSA…i had my own freight and forwarding company up in Wadevile close to Germiston….I dropped out of school in grade 3

  14. QUOTE (He went on to state that the UPND had a poor or ineffective campaign strategy in Kaumbwe built around party chairperson for elections Gary Nkombo, a non-Easterner) END OF QUOTE : IT IS VERY SAD TO HAVE TRIBALISTS IN THE CORRIDORS OF OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM 57 YEARS AFTER INDEPENDENCE. I AM SHOCKED SHISHUWA WROTE THIS. How does he forget that Eastern Province gave UPND 47pc of their vote? I know that tribal blood strongly flows in his veins says this, Africans!

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