Columnists

Opposition checks lifeless

PAUL Moonga.

Analysis: PAUL MOONGA
TO designate Zambian politics a description of chaos, confusion or placing it at cross-roads is belittling the deep end that it has all of a sudden stooped to.
I know that many have asserted that politics is a dirty game, but nay, it is politics that provides decency to the people whichever way one looks at human development. Human development and economic growth are anchored on the exercise of political life.
Politics is a service. It is the most decent thing to do for the many suffering masses of our country.
Lately, however, the exercise of politics and the fight for political power has fallen from grace to disgrace.
In stitching my thoughts, I will place blame on the poor quality of debate, conduct, behaviour and lack of etiquette in our opposition political parties.
I don’t want to pretend that I am shy to say things the way they are. For that matter, the leading opposition party, the United Party for National Development (UPND), has seemingly taken a large space in reversing the quality of opposition politics.
This country is coming from a background of rich opposition political parties since 1991 when multi-party politics were re-introduced in Zambia.
The Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), which wrestled power from UNIP, and later its successor the Patriotic Front offered more credible criticism and suggested solutions to the many challenges the country faced at that time.
The MMD campaigned on the stand-point that the country was faced with huge debts, coupled with critical shortages of essential goods. That was the backbone of their campaigns.
After 2001, the PF came on board and campaigned on the premise of high taxation that consequently repelled willingness in taxpayers to meet their obligations.
For that reason, these two political parties ended up winning power because they had specific and clear issues they set forth. They talked about policy issues and had little space for personalities. They raised issues that affected the majority Zambian people without attacking the persons of others. That cannot be said about our present-day politics.
Each time the president of UPND, Hakainde Hichilema, for instance, stands on any podium to speak, the name Edgar Lungu is pronounced more times than the number of times his eye blinks.
Here is my question: Can any genuine, neutral and credible individual in this country point at one issue that is leading UPND in their demand for power?
What issues have UPND pledged to address when they come into power. In their wisdom, President Lungu and the PF are the best baits standing on their way to power.
Looking at this kind of background of Zambian politics and the quality of issues they have raised, it makes more sense to believe that the UPND lacks the required tools that were used by former opposition parties to win power.
The difference between MMD/PF and UPND is too wide. UPND lacks quality and competence to offer any credible criticism. The bar that was set by MMD and PF is too high for the UPND to attain.
The UPND has had the most failed presidential candidates, holding the highest number of attempts at presidency.
For instance, lately, the UPND contends that the only way it can win power is by pushing for an impeachment motion so that President Lungu can be removed from power. The opposition party is aware that President Lungu is very popular in his own party, the PF, and among the Zambian people.
The UPND knows that its leader was beaten by President Lungu twice in the last few years but is still making manoeuvres to attempt the impossible. No impeachment motion in Zambia has ever come close to succeeding. Therefore, the UPND is relying on defective tools of analysis.
They are blind to the clean record of achievements on how the face of infrastructure in the country has changed under President Lungu’s watch. People are now driving on good quality roads while the power blackouts which he inherited have fizzled in thin air, among other changes.
There has been a remarkable achievement in the area of economic growth that through good policies, inflation rate has stabilised while economic growth is ever looking up. His competitors are marred in uncertain financial issues having amassed wealth they struggle to account for.
I have some offering to make for the UPND. President Lungu will voluntarily leave power after serving all his legally provided terms of office in 2026 when he will not be eligible to contest the presidency.
An impeachment attempt at a man who is highly popular, widely respected and over-performing is an utter attempt to defeat your own party. It is a suicide mission of the worst kind.
Zambian politics is not ripe for a team that lacks political acumen to rise. You are preparing another deep ground for the second coming of a heavy defeat whose shadow will be too clear when the PF unleash their most lethal arsenal in the name of Edgar Chagwa Lungu ahead of 2021.
The author is Patriotic Front Member of Central Committee.


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