AN ELECTION ALREADY WON BY UPND MAY BE LOST
The Candidates’ Comment
There is no doubt whatsoever that the Patriotic Front (PF) is not any more desirable by many Zambians today. When you ask 10 random people, anywhere in this country including in areas the PF claim is their stronghold, if they will vote for the ruling party again, at least seven of them will tell you no. The PF has failed to take care of very basic societal challenges which affect majority people. It is only surrogates, sycophants and sympathizers of the PF who think life is easy in Zambia and are advocating for Lungu na Luo.
While it may appear that there is development in Zambia when you see the PF build three flyover bridges in Lusaka and new roads well lighted, these projects mean nothing to families that struggle to put three meals on the table. These roads, new schools and all sorts of projects littered around the country have no meaning to people who are hungry.
Go to the Copperbelt and see how people are struggling to make ends meet there. The Copperbelt, amidst all its resources is now a ghost province following the developments in the mining industry which to a large extent has been mismanaged by the PF. Many youths born and bred from that province have been thrown on the street where there is nothing worth talking about to do for them to earn a living. Whether a graduate or not, if you are in copperbelt, you are either at home or automatically get employed as a Mobile Money Booth agent where your earnings revolve around K1,000 which is far much below the cost of living a normal life.The number of youths who have taken up this type of employment to at least find something for themselves and their families is huge. It is this same cluster of people that have been angered by the failures of the PF administration to offer them means through which they can earn decent earnings.The rise of prostitution among young females in Copperbelt and HIV/AIDS as well as criminality among male youths is all credited to the failures of the PF administration.
Of course, the high buying power in copperbelt which oils the mobile money sector is even better than other provinces where conditions are even worse. Clearly, the PF has a very serious challenge to win support from many people across the country due to their failure to deal with issues affecting the people in totality.
But while this is so, it is not everyone who says they will not vote for PF in these elections who will automatically vote for the United Party for National Development (UPND). To think that everyone who talks ill of PF is UPND is, at best, to be over-expectant and at worst, to be stupid.
Several citizens of this country are lost and do not know who to vote for other than the PF. Such people are inclined towards boycotting the election entirely and opt to stay at home. For UPND to grab and protect this opportunity, their solution does not lie in how many press conferences, radio and TV appearances they engage into. The solution lies in reaching out to these voters and appealing to them to vote for them.
Many UPND minions have argued that their leader is not allowed to go out to mobilize. Yes, there are many restrictions which Hakainde Hichilema faces but how are others doing it? The Public Order Act which the PF abuses was not created yesterday and has existed even when the ruling party was in opposition and when it was being abused by the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) to stop Michael Sata from engaging people.
We are all seeing that Fred M’membe of the Socialist Party is in the deep countryside talking to voters and getting whatever numbers of voters he can lay his hands on. Fred does not announce all his activities and does not move with all the flare that we see Hakainde move with to show off that he has supporters. We know of how Fred had to escape police arrest through the roof of a house for merely meeting party officials in Kanyama. Clearly, Fred understands what it takes to win an election beyond the rituals of holding press conferences which clearly have fatigued even those that sympathize with Hakainde.
This election is purely in the hands of Hakainde but his failure to strategically maneuver against all the restrictions thrown on him may cost him an election he has already won. Let Hakainde leave town politics and focus on where it matters. Those convoys he moves into with his cadres are worthless. These town politics, social media antics have no benefits as far as elections are concerned in Zambia. The truth is that, the many followers who cheer Hakainde on social media for all these stunts he keeps making will not even step out of their houses to vote for him. The people that vote are in areas you are not going to, and those are the people PF is busy buying to vote them back in power.