Wednesday, June 19, 2024

UPND Must Hone Communication & Mobilization Skills!


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

Although this may somehow touch a raw nerve here and there, one of UPND’s Achilles heels is the inability and apparent inertia to mobilize the masses swiftly, or communicate effectively! Our leaders seem to be comfortable in their positions waiting for the president to do everything as was the case during their time in the wilderness. For clarity’s sake, we shall cast our argument in 3 talking points – the International Women’s Day, Ndola/Lusaka Dual Carriageway (PPP) and the demonstration in support of gay rights.

International Women’s Day

If images of our beloved women finding their way on Social Media from across the country as they commemorated the International Women’s Day are anything to go, then this must be a clarion call for those in leadership! There’s no need to pretend, UPND was clearly outclassed or overshadowed by opposition PF in places such as Ndola and northern parts of the country.

Politics is all about perception……ichimwela, if you like. Whereas PF members turned up in droves clad in their impressive party regalia, vigorously marching and boisterously singing, it was a sorry site in the other camp. There was only a handful of members from the ruling party who are appeared somewhat sheepish and subdued. Excuse me!

In his write up; International Women’s Day turned into Political Display, Stembridge Sikalunda argues as follows, “PF is collaborating with the grassroot because they are taking resources there to support their followers , how many people can continue following and supporting on voluntary grounds without instant benefits? People need to survive everyday.”

It would be illogical to think those poor women from PF just woke up and found their way to venues where these activities were taking place without any kind of inducement or remuneration. Unless they want to be a one term government, the UPND leadership must keep on dreaming that the grassroots will just continue pitching up for party or national events without actually expecting to accrue any direct benefits! Are we suggesting these individuals are any different from their fellow human beings occupying such positions as Ministers, MPs or Civil Servants who are actually quick to claim allowances for any duties they perform?

Demonstration to promote gay rights

By now, we are all obviously aware of some crafty and cunning girls from a shadowy organization known as Sista Sista Foundation that tricked the police that they wanted to hold a procession against gender based violence when in fact not. Before we knew it, they were displaying gay pride colours as they chanted and sung songs with expletive connotations!

Not surprisingly, this was just the kind of sumptuous menu the opposition was waiting for to unleash one or two potentially lethal punches!

“The demonstration to promote Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBTQ) by a queer organisation called Sista Sista Foundation had blessings of the UPND government!” Harry Kalaba, who fashions himself as president of Citizens First could not waste time firing a salvo. Interestingly, some of the leaders of this bogus organization have strong ties with PF although Kalaba is now trying to associate them with UPND.

As if not to be left out of the fray, former religious affairs minister, Godfridah Sumaili who conviniently elected to remain mute as atrocities such as corruption, gassing of innocent citizens, maiming limbs or killing members of the opposition and spewing spine-chilling insults and profanities against perceived opponents rose to a crescendo, decided to write an emotional open letter to President Hakainde Hichilema.

“What have you done Mr President? You have betrayed the people of Zambia by embracing hypocrisy instead of truth. Homosexuality is illegal in Zambia. How can the activists of the pervasive, abominable and illegal homosexuality be covered and protected by State Police an institution of good governance?”

And speaking when he featured on UNZA Radio the other day, PF media director Antonio Mwanza slammed the UPND government for letting “perverts” protest for the recognition of the abominable “rights” in a Christian Nation.

We give kudos to Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Hon. Jack Mwimbu for not interfering with the police when they decided to affect the arrests of the ring leaders. Where was the Information Minister & Chief Government spokesperson all that time to quench the fire before things could spiral out of control? What about the UPND media team, what role did they play in explaining the position of the party on such an emotive issue?

Ndola/Lusaka Dual Carriageway

If at all there’s a road that requires urgent attention, it’s no other than this particular one! While this road undoubtedly remains our foremost economic lifetime; unfortunately, we keep on recording countless accidents leading to fatalities and loss of property worth collosal sums of money!

Alas, instead of rallying behind government for making such a bold decision; opposition leaders combined and other detractors chose to go to town and fished out the most unpalatable adjectives or phrases in the book to discredit government and punch holes in the deal.

“This is a no brainer! This government has surrendered this contract to foreigners at the expense of the locals! This deal stinks of corruption! The locals won’t benefit anything! It will force NAPSA into insolvency!”

For a while, let’s imagine it was PF in the driving seat? Dora Siliya, Antonio Mwanza, Sunday Chanda and their surrogates from the Church, Civil society and political spectrum etc would have been bombarding every TV and Radio station putting things into perspective, if not burning the midnight candle churning-out press statements or countering incessant attacks on Social Media.

To cut the long story short as they say, UPND must simply hone their communication and mobilization skills, chapwa!


  1. It’s very rare that the prince will write stories that go against upnd thinking. This is good advise.

  2. I agree with you, communication should improve at all costs. this reminds me of the video I saw on chishala kateka’s protest issue where the police officer couldn’t explain why he had to stop the protest from going ahead instead he ended up commending his officers to arrest the crowd that took part in the protest just for him to avoid embarrassment because he had no warrant papers from his seniority “communication” that is just a topical example of why communication is important among every employee from the senior level to the lowest rank. if at all, the officer had a warrant the situation wasn’t going to escalate.

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