Friday, March 1, 2024

Kabwata has spoken – Ndozo formula is strangling PF

Share

By Chimwemwe Mwanza

As a metaphor, ‘ruling from the grave’ is when a deceased owner of a fortune imposes significant restrictions on how an heir should manage their inheritance. This enables the lifeless to still have sway albeit from their grave on how their fortune is managed.

Obsessed with preserving their legacies, leaders have become adept in the the art of anointing their preferred heirs – this despite history proving more often that a leadership birthed out of deception barely withstands the tests of legitimacy and endurance.

In the aftermath of last year’s humiliating defeat at the Presidential polls, one would have expected the former ruling Patriotic Front (PF) to genuinely introspect and reflect on its future – in other words kick out the old guard that cost them the election and elect new blood in the party structures – this as a more sensible option to renewal. Nada! Stunned but still drunk with delusions of grandeur, its leadership is holding on but battling to come to terms with the cold reality of opposition politics.

Jog your memory to seven months ago, did you ever think that the once mighty PF would in our lifetime embark on a marathon to celebrate loss of a parliamentary seat – Kabwata for that matter? Even worse, the fallacy informing this celebration is steeped in the argument that this narrow defeat signifies a PF that is in ascendancy. Really? This is at odds with reality. Let’s for a moment disregard the numbers or gap, since when did a loss become a win?
It is this kind of hallucinating that is keeping the PF faithful in denial. Forget the political noises, truth is, there is nothing tangible that the UPND has achieved since assuming power that could have easily swayed this election in its favour. Kabwata was ripe for the picking, yet PF stumbled. Whatever the argument, fact is that the outcome of this election is nothing more than a continuing repudiation of the PF than a vote of confidence in the UPND.

That the UPND’s Andrew Tayengwa barely engaged the electorate on the campaign trail – except when he would occasionally come out of hiding to hitch a walk with the President – but still managed to beat the more affable Clement Tembo is telling of the PF’s waning fortunes. For sure, ubushiku usheme nakambala kalocha. The trouble with the PF is that its leadership is hastening the party’s demise. And this slow march to oblivion will likely accelerate in the build-up to its elective conference scheduled in four month’s time.

Where to from here?

Lungu’s Ndozo formula is strangling PF

Despite a public professed retirement from active politics, former President Edgar Lungu’s shadow still looms large in the party. Deny as he may, he is the master that is still pulling strings in the dark. Just how the party extricates itself from this duplicity and Lungu’s vice like grip could well determine PF’s fate.

Ironically, he officially resigned from active politics last year August but for reasons best known to himself kept his decision secret from the larger PF fraternity until the secretary to the cabinet embarrassingly disclosed that Lungu had in fact communicated to government his decision to quit politics. Yet in a subtle but Machiavellian gambit, the former President appears to have staked out his claim to coronate his heir – but not before the sun sets on his political career.

It is Lungu and a coterie of the PF leadership that convened and presided over his party’s gathering at Chawama’s Ndozo lodge in November last year – during which Given Lubinda was anointed as the party’s Vice President. Oddly, Lungu’s resignation as the PF leader drew little interest to his vacant position – this despite the likes of Chishimba Kambwili and Brian Mundubile’s open declaration of interest in the position.

However, in a more befuddling pronouncement post the Ndozo gathering, Lubinda has since been given another position in addition to the Vice Presidency raising even more eyebrows. A question, what is Lubinda’s actual position in the PF? Is he the Vice or President? Unfortunately, only he can clarify. Curiously, the party has overtly licenced the media to address him as they wish – depending on the occasion.

Is this a responsible way of managing a modern political formation? Off course not but there is reason for this madness; to keep the Presidential seat as warm as possible for Mundubile while canvassing party grassroot structures to keep Kambwili at bay. It’s an open secret that Lungu, the influential Mpika and Chinsali cliques in the party, have finally settled on Mundubile – the PF Mpika Central lawmaker as the heir apparent to the former President’s throne. But is he the true greens’ choice to lead the party? Certainly not.

For now, only Kambwili who is staring a possible expulsion from the party or an exclusion from the elective conference stands in the way of Mundubile’s coronation. However, if expelled or barred from the conference, Kambwili will unlikely give up on his ambitions without a fight. At least, he might take a sizable chunk of PF supporters with him. If this happens, it could just widen the party’s options to self-destruct.

Meanwhile, as the ship sails without a captain, seven parliamentary bye-elections are in the offing. The entire top leadership except for Mundubile have a date with the law. Brandishing its daggers in the way of the PF, the UPND is already smelling blood. Although not in the short-term, the reality is that Zambia’s democracy will eventually take a knock – especially in the absence of a formidable opposition to provide adequate checks and balances to the ruling party.

For the UPND faithful, this will be their hallelujah moment. One can almost hear them sharpening their vocal cords as they prepare to belt that famous solemn: tinali nawo, tinali nawo, tinali nawooo x2.

About the Author: Mwanza enjoys reading Political History and Philosophy. Thanks to a first-time visit to Joe Mbuzi over the festive break, he now eats goat meat. For feedback, email [email protected]

14 COMMENTS

  1. PF was a disaster in government, very happy that it is gone for good. even the few remnants still standing will surrender soon. and what worsens the situation is that the grass roots do not want all the current leaders and those vying for the Presidency

    10
    3
  2. The PF never complained about the allegations against the ruling party in the build up to the elections and in the campaigns in the Kabwata bye election. infact they were saying they were winning, but now after loosing, full of cry baby stuff, this party should just disband. Unfortunately all the other opposition parties are also just talk shops and political commentators

    9
    3
  3. Very insightful write-up. By the way, Mundubile is Mporokoso MP. The fact that the PF lost Kabwata to a not so popular UPND candidates speaks volumes to their downhill (with faulty brakes) or off the cliff (with no parachute) descending. We started predicting the moment Sata died that with government machinery, they will rapidly take the route of extinction. Welcome back to opposition politics but shy of effective leadership. Tinali nawo, atsogoleli atu aPF, aChagwa mwasiya banja!

    3
    1
  4. The writer just had to write something even if it doesn’t make sense. You cannot make conclusions from the just ended Kabwata bye election. It’s normal in politics for the new Ruling party to win now as it’s too early to judge them as incumbents. You look at the marine of win or loss then u judge if the looser has a big airport base or not so the marine of loss ir win is what tells you how popular you are even in your win.
    So Zambia’s so called political experts need to be objective and balanced otherwise they’re just cadre writers. In my judgement or opinion the marine of loss by PF in Kabwata tells me that they’ve the numbers to work with and that UPND should delivered so they can grow there marine of win and next elections they will be judged as on what they did in government not the…

    3
    6
  5. They said they would win Kabwata and did not mention any extenuating circumstances, after the loss, full of unfounded allegations, anyway that is PF for you. Following Sean Tembos one man party foot steps

    6
    1
  6. PF should actually congratulate UPND to give them space to campaign peacefully. Sata was a Kaponya who organized street thugs to govern. After his demise it was worse , chawama drunkards took over the government with street kids like Kapyongo, Lusambo and the likes. Who would think to go backwards again to be governed by the likes of Lungu, Lusambo, kapyongo, Kambwili and the likes. It’s only that Politics in Zambia is a big business venture..

    4
    2
  7. Very true! And with Mr Lubinda at the helm, PF is definitely going down – not charismatic enough. The whole “old school” must go!

    #plant a tree please!

  8. PF HAD A BIG WIN FOR KAUMBWE MP SOME KA MAN JUST FORGOT HIS NAME, ALSO LUSANGAZI.THE WIN CAME BARELY 3 MONTHS OF UPND IN GOVERNMENT AND BOTH NM AND HH CAMPAIGNED FOR ATLEAST 4DAYS WITH HEAVY POLICE PRESENCE AND CADRELISM. WE LOST KABWATA WITH A SMALL MARGIN AND UPND HAS TO BE WARRY OF THE 12,000 VOTERS THAT VOTED PF WHY SO MANY PEOPLE HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR THAT UPND SPONSORED SP CANDIDATE UNCLE T PF WAS CARRYING THE DAY

  9. Say whatever you like, experience has taught us that once a ruling party gets booted out, please NOTE “booted out” it’s chances of resurrecting or is it rebounding are dim as Zambians have almost always sent such parties to the salvage dump! Where is the clout of UNIP and MMD? The margins of loss or win in the just had byelection are never an indication of strength or weakness for here one just has factual representation in numbers that UPND took the day and the rest lost it! Those trying to put thoughts to numbers are wasting their time as figures will remain figures thus PF sympathizers trying to hold on in denial that Zambians have had it with them can keep on dreaming! Zambians are already set for a party with a different name and not a “rebranded” one!

  10. Heir apparent to the former President’s throne?

    Sure? Just wait until they finally see his “throne” is now a stool…

  11. Thank you Kabwata. We love to see PF going down fast like a doomed 747 jumbo jet and they’re facing imminent death. The rogue party shall never to come back alive.

Comments are closed.

Read more

Local News

Discover more from Lusaka Times-Zambia's Leading Online News Site - LusakaTimes.com

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue Reading