Tuesday, May 28, 2024

12 Reasons Why A United Zambian Opposition Cannot Win Against President Hichilema In 2026

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Part One

It is not my intention to bore the reader with economic and political jargon and semantics on this matter, but my wish is to mainly deal with practical issues.

Reason No. 1: The opposition has no strong credible candidate.

The opposition mainly comprises press briefings, Facebook, and TikTok parties. Silavwe’s Golden Party is almost a one-man show though he is an eloquent speaker, Nawakwi’s FDD is a spent force, Mulyokela’s party has its Headquarters in the street just adjacent to Lusaka Central Police Station, Mbikusita Lewanika’s Agenda for Zambia is unheard of while the New Heritage Party is mainly for posing on camera. Mwenda Kasonde’s Economic Freedom Fighters is very active on TikTok and YouTube while Thomas Sipalo’s party has always been available for entertainment at opposition party meetings and the list goes on. The main parties that one can identify are Patriotic Front (Edgar Lungu’s faction which is currently moribund) and The Socialist Party headed by Fred Mmembe. Even amidst the current economic hardships, people are not calling for Mr. Lungu’s return save for PF cadres and others who were the beneficiaries of Kasaka Ka Ndalama. People’s memories are still fresh on a) Edgar Lungu’s reign of terror b) marginalization of people from what PF terms the Zambezi Region c) total neglect of the youth and students in schools and 4) neglect of rural development. So, Mr. Lungu has very little chance of winning though he can pick a few votes. On the other hand, if the opposition went for Fred Mmembe and floated him against HH, he would be badly battered. Of course, he would still pick a few votes here and there like Muchinga and Northern Provinces. Apparently, he also tries to get some votes when competing in Eastern Province as seen in the Kaumbwe parliamentary by-election in October 2021, but he cannot put up any serious challenge towards unseating President HH. Mmembe’s past will also continue haunting him and may continue costing him electoral successes in years to come if he does not address and provide answers to Winter Kabimba’s unending accusations over their past encounters. He also owes the nation an explanation on whether President Lungu’s closure of the Post Newspapers was politically motivated or was due to tax evasion or failure to pay taxes now that they even share the same platform. Was the closure stage managed like in the James Bond movie or it was real?

Reason No. 2: The opposition’s strongest candidate, Mr. Edgar Lungu, is a “Coward Political Hyena.”

Why do I say so? Stephen King once told us that “A cowardly leader is the most dangerous of men.” At a press conference held in Lusaka in late January 2024, Mr. Lungu was asked what he would have done if he were in office, to restructure the debt burden that he himself with his government contracted and left behind and was suffocating the economy. The reporter further wanted to know what the former president would have done differently. Instead of giving hope to Zambians who have now been terribly affected by his careless borrowing, the former president rudely shut the reporter up and accosted him for asking the question. “I am not in State House, so, you can’t ask me that, ask HH,” he retorted in reference to President Hichilema. Those are answers that came from a person I cannot hesitate to describe as a Coward Political Hyena. On the contrary, President HH managed to restructure the debt to the shame of prophets of doom. Mr. Lungu can only be compared to a Hyena’s cowardly character of waiting for other animals to hunt but quickly grabs their hard-earned kill without putting any effort. That’s what he is. He and his friends want to ride on HH’s success and take his presidency away. Mwailasha!!

Reason No. 3: The failed PF tribal card used against HH in 2021 will no longer be available in 2026.

In a video post that went viral just before the 2021 elections, then-President Lungu informed the nation that Hakainde Hichilema would never be president of Zambia saying “…only one man, munthu omwe, now you ask yourself, what is so special, eeehh, well, we will one day have a Tonga president, but certainly not the current aspirant” in direct reference to Hakainde Hichilema. Bizwell Mutale, another senior member of the then-ruling party PF, followed the Tongas to Pemba District and told them in their faces whilst there, “Zambia will never have a Tonga president.” But HH sailed through with a landslide victory in 2021 and Mr. Lungu has never apologized for those remarks. In Eastern Province, the PF were telling unsuspecting citizens in villages that if they voted for HH, he would divide the country as Eastern Province would be cut off. But the same HH they were profiling has taken huge amounts of resources for education, health, and infrastructure development to the rural areas. So, people are wondering: Is this the same person whom the PF referred to as divisive and the one who was going to divide the country?” they ask.

Reason No. 4: Misplaced opposition reliance on current economic hardships and disillusionment with UPND and HH.

Arnold Glasow tells us “One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.” Did Mr. Lungu realize that contracting such huge debt would result in the crisis we are in? Not at all. But no sooner had HH taken over the presidency than he identified the problem and ventured on a mission to restructure the debt failure to which the country would have remained stagnant. Swope also reminds us, “I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is: Try to please everybody.” The opposition is riding on a platform of current disenchantment by the electorate hoping for hardships to continue along the same trajectory until election time in 2026. What people should realize is that President HH and his team are making very hard decisions in order for Zambia to get redeemed from the shackles of PF economic mismanagement and plunder. Your car breaks down. Surely, you must have it repaired before you venture on a long journey. This is what President HH is doing. Making hard decisions is not for the weak-hearted. Mr. Lungu and his teams should also know that disillusionment of voters does not automatically translate into opposition votes. Not at all. There are so many other factors that come into play. The Zambian economy is divided into sectors and of course, I am aware that most of the sectors rely on one another. These sectors can be compared to a school syllabus or course outline. The examiner sets an examination based on the entire syllabus and the paper is given to the student to write the exam. The examiner cannot be seen to get the student’s answer manuscript and start marking the paper after one hour when the exam time given is two hours thus denying the student one full hour. President HH needs the remaining hour to complete the exam before giving the manuscript to the voters for marking in 2026. Judging him now is unfair because he is still writing the exam and he still has time to complete the exam.

Reason No. 5: President Hichilema has fortified his position by clearing his name and presidency on African Cultural Values and Christianity.

A few months after getting elected, the president’s presidency almost went shaky following the opposition’s accusations that he was allowing the country to be taken over by homosexuals. It was alleged that homosexuals had begun showing their ugly heads in Zambia following his election as president and prodded him to state his position. On 15th August 2022 and on 15th March 2023, in Luanshya and Chingola respectively, he categorically reiterated his opposition to homosexuality and denounced it as unacceptable thus putting an end to PF speculation that he was encouraging the importation of homosexuality to Zambia from the West. He urged the church to come out strong and denounce homosexuality and guide our youths. On the contrary, apart from Mr. Lungu who also denounced homosexuality during his presidency, other opposition leaders have not informed the nation of their positions leading to speculation that some of them may be funded by some homosexual advocate groups. Without stating their positions, their performance will likely be affected if some rival political party or parties raise the issue.

Reason No. 6: The Bemba mentality of wanting to always grab the presidency.

Following the PF split into factions, Zambia does not have a strong party capable of challenging the United Party for National Development (UPND). However, one of the factions aka Lungu faction can try to compete in the elections but cannot pose any serious challenge to UPND if it was to find its feet. Both factions are led by Bembas from the Northern part of the country, but the Lungu faction seems stronger than the Sampa one though by order of the court, the Sampa faction is the legitimate one and holds the presidency. Of course, the Bembas are entitled to vie for any position in the country as provided for by the Zambian Constitution. What is surprising though is their lust for power of presidency. No stigma. We had our first Republican president Dr. Kaunda (May his soul rest in peace) hailing from the North, late Chiluba and late Sata also from the same region. Now 97 percent of all political parties in Zambia are led by the North fighting for presidency. No regard for others to also hold the presidency. When are others going to rule?

Now let us assume that Mr. Lungu steps aside for whatever reasons for the 2026 presidency, One would expect a serious scramble for the presidency from PF factions. But hold on for a second! Which Bemba is going to allow another Bemba to take up the presidency? Even if the factions came up with one presidential candidate whether you call it PF faction or UKA, there will be candidates that will break away from that united front. Why? Because that is how they are. Bemba mentality of wanting to be president or always having a Bemba president.

As a result of this mentality, do you think Dr. Chilufya Chitalu can let GBM become the presidential candidate when he believes he is the best candidate? Do you think Hon Mundubile can let Sampa take the candidacy? What about Hon Kampyongo? Can he allow these other Bembas to take up the presidency? Unfortunately for them, even if PF produced one candidate and the rest rallied behind that candidate, my view is that they would still be given an electoral annihilation by UPND because of their past. They have come from a background of failed leadership, reign of terror with their party being perceived as a party of ……nderers.

Anyway, that is the beauty of democracy and freedom of speech. The Bembas are free to enjoy their right to become presidents while I also enjoy my freedom of communication. We are both happy and I will not tolerate funny comments because what I have said is true and correct to the best of my knowledge. When it pleases them, they say “Insansa kuchinjana” but when others want to vie for the presidency, they quickly change their positions. Now watch the space. My article will have two main responses and those will be: Who stopped people from other regions from vying for presidency? My answer in advance using their own adage, “Insoni ebunthu” The other response may just be insults to which I will not be able to respond because they will be too many and my culture does not allow me to insult or insult back.

To be continued in Part Two

By Lastone Nyirenda
The Author is a Human Rights Advocate, Author, Researcher, Youth Development Partner and Corporate and Management Consultant. He holds a Master of Business Administration, Bachelor of Laws, and Diploma in Human Resource Management.

27 COMMENTS

    • Its not!
      Lastone Nyirenda you are a useless tribal rousing loudmouth who pretends to know what he doesnt. Is everyone coming from Eastern Province a Ngoni? No! You as a Tumbuka should know that there are Chewas, Bizas, Nsengas, Chikundas, Kundas etc in Eastern Province who cant be grouped in one tribe.
      In your desperate attempt to tribalise your silly unfounded presumptions you are too lazy to discern the demographics of a Province so you Bembanise a Tonga from Malawi, a Luba from Luapula whom when it suits most of you, conveniently call a Congolese because his village is dissected only by the Luapula putting his relatives in both Zambia and DRC.

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    • You also Bembanise Sata, a Bisa who isnt a subject of Chitimukulu but perhaps Nkolemfumu. Is Wynter Kabimba a Lozi since he comes from Western Province? With your shallow comprehension you would say he is. On top of all this your tribalised mind collectivises people’s actions like a two year old does. Yes you decree that all Bembas think the same way so Dr Chitalu or Mundubile cant allow a tribismate to take the reigns what trash! Ba LT stop publishing crappy articles from every kindergarten thumbsucker

  1. TRUE OR NOT ? AND UNECCESSAY
    Its just speculation ? ZO is reporting upnd cannot win 2026
    Why are we even concerned when we have immediate serious issues to take care of,
    Just show how backward thinking we are

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  2. ……..

    The one to replace HH is not yet born, or………..

    Is still in school,…….

    There is no alternative, currently

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  3. PETTY, denial denial… muzalila wait . You can defend them but the reality is in communities… pipo are hungry and angry, you praise sinners / singers are so naive by supporting blindly. shame on you all. Backwardness is a curse.

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  4. And Mr Hakainde Hichilema will develop a blown ego because this nameless PhD holder has said that the opposition cannot defeat him. In Zambia people vote to remove a bad government regardless of who is standing against that government. If I were HH I double efforts to better people’s lives.
    Thank you.

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  5. This isuue of Bembas, Tumbukas, Westerners, Easteners, Northerners etc has NEVER been an issue until these chaps came in power. Any leader who divides pipo is a danger to the nation period. These guys are tribalistic & truth must be told!!! You CANNOT build anything by lies & hatred.

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  6. Truth be told, I equally have no alternative right now if I was given a chance to vote. What are these opposition leaders waiting for? We need to start hearing some alternatives now so that we make informed decisions. As things stand, am afraid HH seems a viable option not because he is the best but because there seems to be no serious contender.

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    • Some of the opposition parties (parties?)have literally no members. You only see in the newsmedia, their pretenders to the throne calling themselves leaders of the opposition. Some just have invisible websites. Some have never ever held a rally-thanks to HH and his fear of his own shadow.

  7. Transahara Commodities Limited, a brainchild of serial crook Chibwe Cornelius Maibwe has been found in the news yet again. This time the Times states that it has defrauded a total of over 30 farmers of funds worth $20,000. Look out for your edition of Times Online for more.

    • It is likely true, my grandfather and his mates have already launched the case in High Court, the lad was apprehended in Lusaka for 14 days but managed to escape the police cells. Currently out on bail rumor has it.

  8. It is NOT Bemba nor Lozi nor Kaonde Nor Bisa Nor Tonga that is going to develop this country, Zambia; but only committed Zambian Citizens will develop this country. Are you that person. It does not matter the tribe, but commitment to national development.

  9. ………

    Those who think HH is losing the presidency are delusional and only see surface……..

    The Zambian undercurrent is alive and well , and knows the complexities of cleaning the PF mess……….

    There is noway there could be a change of president ,…………

    We still have work to do, much a do about sacrifice…………..

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  10. He can write whatever he wants. But the verdict will be ultimately with the Zambian people in 2026 about whether they want to continue with a government that is so long on telling lies and short on action.

  11. There is no formidable leader in opposition, this was said in 1991. Yet Zambians voted KK out. Reason not because of all these economics jargons and semantics but because mealie meal had become difficult to get despite the cheap price it was fetching. The only thing you can talk about is rigging Upnd as the party in power.

  12. He is very right.
    Firstly many Zambians have forgotten or don’t care about the 2022 Census results .Well, the rural areas have more people at 11,806,989 compared with the urban areas at 7,886,434. The rural vote will always favour HH and the UPND just as it did in 2021.
    Issues of high mealie meal prices , fuel prices and load shedding don’t affect voters in rural areas.

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  13. HH and UPND’s pro agricultural policies, increased CDF and free education policy will just strengthen his hold of the rural vote. Fred and the Socialist party seem to have realized that . Sadly 2 years is not enough for him to make inroads.
    The UKWA alliance is heavily relying on discontent in the cities especially in the compounds to win them votes. That vote is there to be shared by everyone even independent candidates.

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