Columnists

Is it fight against corruption or mere blackmail?

Analysis: PAUL MOONGA
A GRUBBY campaign inspired by the opposition UPND has lately been mooted by the agitators of change calling themselves civil society, media houses, musicians and human rights activists seeking to damage the reputation of President Edgar Lungu and his administration.

The campaign is being driven by a small group that appears very ready to ferment every piece of malice to psych Zambian voters to distance themselves from a well-intended government come 2021 when presidential and general elections will be held.
This campaign is orchestrated by a private tabloid, working with the UPND, aimed at influencing Zambians to support the opposition party or face malice.
Institutions and individuals working with or supporting President Lungu and the PF government face the risk of being targeted for a malicious campaign.
This is a group of individuals merely preparing the road for regime change for the purpose of benefitting from a new government in the event that change takes off in 2021.
It is not too hard to make an assessment of their conduct lately. In the first place, this clique has gone on rampage sowing seeds of hate against President Lungu but their plans are hitting a hard rock.
Come 2021, President Lungu and the PF will sail to victory.
They are under a mistaken belief that PF can lose power to a party whose top figures, the media team, MPs and their votes are limited to few provinces.
Their chorus for the existence of corruption only exists in their heads and here is the reason why I say so.
The main signal of corruption in any country is the absence of signs of development, under-performance of major sectors of the economy such as agriculture, poor roads and the general scalar in the citizens.
This picture is non-existent in Zambia today. Zambia is a country where shopping malls, office malls and hospitals are rising to the sky on a daily basis while inflation rate as well as other economic fundamentals are performing extremely well.
Construction of roads, schools, and hospitals is at its best while donor inflows have continued.
Government is equally able to borrow and repay loan obligations every month. In a country where there is massive corruption, all these fundamentals should not be present.
The group is disappointed that while they expected President Lungu to fail, investment in road infrastructure, schools and hospitals has continued. The rise in private investment is unmeasurable.
They worry that this trend will frustrate their ascendancy to the ‘promised land’, hence the decision to indirectly back their preferred man but using all the wrong methods.
Political campaigns in a democracy must be devoid of malice but be based on issues.
Those backing candidates of their choice are not committing any offence but they must be open in order to allow others to take them on.
There is one promise I will make and it will be effortlessly delivered to them come 2021.
As a PF member, I promise them resounding victory for President Lungu and PF candidates.
Zambians are seeing the happenings on the ground and they will not succumb to these political elements hiding in the name of non-governmental organisations.
What these people need to know is that PF remains the most formidable party in the country. The masses of non-voters turning out to listen to some opposition leaders at rallies is not new to Zambian politics and it will always draw a blank like before.
The opposition leader will tumble and remain without value in Zambian politics because the people want genuine unity.
These rallies are the main source of hope that makes them believe that the opposition leader is popular.
It must be understood that even President Lungu addressed huge crowds of people in Dundumwezi, Kalomo, where he received the least number of votes in the 2016 general elections.
When the terrain is not in your favour, you can speak on several mountains claiming victory but voters hold the final say.
While it is admitted that Mr Lungu finds it hard to win in certain areas of the country, others have refused to concede that certain areas are always hard to win.
US President Donald Trump won the elections generally, but he had areas that are not easy for him and he lost.
The same is the case in Zambia where people in some areas will never vote anyhow.
So the malicious campaign against the President is headed for a disastrous ending because the people of Zambia have no faith in some of these leaders.
Those who seek political power must rise on the podium with the voice of unity, but most importantly, they must demonstrate in their actions that their preaching for unity is not just a claim.
In some of these political parties, people who hold influential positions can only come from a certain part of the country. Their media teams, MPs and party chairpersons are mostly from a certain region.
Let me restate that the corruption campaign is a doomed one and is devoid of tangible evidence.
It is an action of busy bodies blowing hot air from their frustrated lungs and that campaign is a ‘stillbirth’.
It is a campaign built around mere hate for President Lungu and the PF in preference for their chosen master.
The author is a member of the Patriotic Front Central Committee.

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