By Chibesa Kalandwe II BA (UNZA), MSc (Arizona)
The year is 2008, an angry and incensed old man storms out of the Mulungushi International Conference Centre. He is shortly trailed by an unrelenting news reporter eager to get some answers.
“I have not bloody lost, so don’t waste my time” he explodes in rage as little foams of saliva appear on the sides of his mouth.
Simple Vubwi had just overturned the electoral tables and Micheal Sata would have none of it. He was on the hunt for Dan Kalale, Vernon Mwaanga and Mbita Chitala, well so he claimed that afternoon.
In an election where PF supporters thought the urban vote would swing the outcome, they were genuinely wrong. It was not enough and President Banda cruised to victory.
The events of 2008 are about to make a dramatic come back. The UPND is convinced the urban vote will shift the ground. But in an election with 7 million voters where simple Vubwi has escalated to 27, 000 votes up for grab, the race is far from over. They have received FISP on time, and also seen a proper road network snake through their villages. For the first time since Kaunda bought his first white handkerchief, they even have a modern hospital and a school.
Rural and urban area voting priorities are different and PF knows where its bread will be buttered come August. In these rural areas, opposition political party structures are non-existent. This also explains why PF has already won 10 wards even before a ballot can be cast. So whilst the UPND will actually be struggling to get even the urban vote, the PF will readily get the rural vote. The dynamics are complicated yet so simple.
And the urban vote will not be as easy as the UPND may seem to think. Whilst the PF may grapple with a jump in retail commodity prices, they have made it up with visible infrastructure. The tide will not be easy to turn against the ruling party.
And we will be back to 2008. HH will storm out of the election totaling centre shortly followed by a huge whiff of reporters trying to force a comment out of him. But President Lungu would have legitimately won the polls.