Analysis: MWANSA NYAMBE
THE Patriotic Front (PF) is headed for a landslide victory as the party has packaged a realistic, relevant, timely, acceptable and appropriate campaign message in their 2016 â€“ 2021 manifesto that is going to fit into Zambiaâ€™s Seventh National Development Plan compared to the United Party for National Development (UPND) who are promising heaven on earth by their â€˜supremeâ€™ leader the â€˜Alphaâ€™ and â€˜Omegaâ€™ of the party.
In addition, PF has also demonstrated that what was contained in the 2011 â€“ 2016 PF Manifesto has been implemented in line with the Revised Sixth National Development Plan (RSNDP), Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the Vision 2030.
This looks like a do-or-die election for Hakainde Hichilema (HH) and the UPND. It is against this background that HH and his party are trying to use all sorts of methods to hoodwink unsuspecting voters to vote for them.
The confidence that UPND has of winning this election is drawn from its narrow loss of about less than 2 percent to the PF last year. The UPND has failed to interrogate the results and establish why they seemed to have gotten closer to the PF. They have deliberately decided to misdirect themselves that their party was growing in PF strongholds when in fact not.
It is clear that more than one-third of the 780,168 votes that HH got were as always expected from the region where he comes from, which is Southern Province, especially that this region recorded the highest voter turnout compared to PF strongholds where the voter turnout was low. The low voter turnout in PF strongholds was mainly due to the heavy rains experienced on the day of voting, especially that it was even a by-election, so people could not brave themselves to go and cast the vote. To a large extent, Guy Scottâ€™s disastrous handling of the PF succession activities discouraged some PF supporters. Therefore, this also contributed to low voter turnout in PF strongholds. The question is: Has UPND tried to think how their performance would have been had PF strongholds recorded a voter turnout equivalent to that witnessed in Southern Province in the 2015 election?
It is expected that there will be very high voter turnout this year even in the PF stronghold due to the on-going campaign strategies such as the famous Counter Nega Nega (CNN), Copy & Paste Nega Nega (C&PNN) or the Umodzi Kumawa for President, Dununa Reverse, Dununability, Sonta epo wabomba and Sontability and many more strategies aimed at encouraging people to go and vote in large numbers. UPND should not underestimate the damage that these strategies have done to their presidential bid. The results will show in a few daysâ€™ time.
It is clear that the narrow defeat was not that PF had become unpopular – far from it. Further, receiving majority votes from Southern Province in the 2015 election did not mean that UPND had become popular to the Zambian people. Even amidst low voter turnout in PF strongholds, there was no single PF stronghold that UPND won in the 2015 election, so UPND did not become popular in PF strongholds despite getting some paltry votes. HH lost to President Lungu in all constituencies where the so-called political Bemba â€˜heavyweightsâ€™ such as Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (Kasama Central constituency), Katele Kalumba (Chiengi constituency), Patrick Mucheleka (Lubansenshi constituency), Felix Mutati (Lunte constituency), Mutale Nalumango (Kaputa constituency) and some more Bemba speakers from Luapula, Muchinga and Northern provinces endorsed his candidature and campaigned for him so much, but terribly lost. Did the results in these constituencies yield the needed vote?
HH had more â€˜influentialâ€™ Bemba politicians supporting him during the 2015 election than is the case in the 2016 election. Why is Katele Kalumba not supporting HH now? Please read the genuine and realistic reasons why Katele quit backing HH. Why is Felix Mutati not on HHâ€™s side today? Why is Mutale Nalumango not so vocal in this election for HH and the UPND? The reasons are very clear: HH is unsaleable due to the tribal voting in his so-called stronghold. The only PF members now UPND cadres supporting HH are Dr Scott, GBM and Miles Sampa who launched an anti- Edgar Lungu campaign just after the demise of President Sata and are still suffering from the humiliating defeat they suffered when PF members opted for Edgar Lungu.
These are the tufilile munsenga guys and have seen that HH can help them damage the existence of the PF â€“ this is a mission impossible or a mission in futility. If Dr Scott with the entire cartel, party and state machinery at his disposal failed to defeat President Lungu in 2015, how will he manage to use the unsaleable and unmarketable HH and the UPND to unseat President Lungu, who is famous and popular, humble, loved and loving, hard-working and forward-looking, and above all tolerant and God-fearing.
President Lungu has the support of the masses that are ready to teach HH a lesson that PF is bigger than Miles Sampa, Dr Scott and GBM and the rest have accepted to be used for window dressing by the UPND.
Mr Sampa, Dr Scott and GBM are being used by HH and the UPND to camouflage UPNDâ€™s tribalism. It is not a hidden secret that Dr Scott, Sampa and GBM are being used as a smokescreen to hoodwink the voters in PF strongholds.
It is very clear that the anti-Edgar Lungu campaigners in Mr Sampa, GBM and Dr Scott have damaged even the little credibility that UPND had. The anti-Lungu campaign has boomeranged on HH and his UPND. HH and the UPND will be convincingly defeated in this election because they have collected and concentrated on stage managing defections instead of working on addressing their weaknesses such as tribalism and hatred for whoever is the incumbent â€“ UPND in Southern Province voted against and expressed hatred for President Levy Mwanawasa (late), President Rupiah Banda, late President Sata and now President Lungu. Is UPND telling the Zambians that all these presidents they have rejected in Southern Province have not paid attention to their development needs?
The whole country knows why Southern Province does not vote for any other presidential candidate apart from the UPND presidential candidate. Doesnâ€™t HH and the UPND see how the voting pattern from their so-called stronghold will damage them in this election? Thatâ€™s too much to ask as HH and the UPND are not at the level of comprehending how their consistent stronghold voting pattern has impacted votersâ€™ voting mindset in other regions.
In the 2016 election, the already known UPND stronghold voting pattern will significantly contribute to HHâ€™s and UPNDâ€™s poor showing in non-UPND strongholds. HHâ€™s defeat in this election is not prophetic, it is clearly written on the wall. HH and the UPND will go into extinction when President Lungu is given a five-year endorsement by the over 50 percent-plus-one Zambian voters. HH should blame himself, his advisors and his voters in his stronghold for his impending defeat in a just a few daysâ€™ time. Too bad for HH, UPND, GBM, Miles Sampa, Guy Scott and their crash-landed anti-Edgar Lungu crusade as the writing is on the wall: President Lungu continues as President till 2021.
Analysis: MWANSA NYAMBE