By Maiko Zulu
OPPOSITION SHOULD BRACE FOR A POSSIBLE 2021 VICTORY FOR PF
Like it or not, the Patriotic Front (PF) is still the biggest and most powerful political party in Zambia and as long as the opposition continues to be content with Facebook and meme victories, PF will continue ruling beyond 2021.
Yesterday’s byelection results particularly from Western Province should be taken as a huge wake up call for the opposition especially the UPND whose supporters are already convinced that their party will form the next government. As a matter of fact, if the UPND don’t play their cards right, a new party will surpass them with the possibility of forming government so for my elder brother HH and the UPND, 2021 is a litmus test for their political existence. Remember how the little known Edgar Lungu became Republican President after the death of King Cobra Michael Chilufya Sata. This was despite titles like ‘Chakolwa’, ‘Jameson’ ‘Komboni’ and his self confessed ‘Visionless’.
Yes, PF have messed the country up economically, socially, religiously, politically and all but the opposition doesn’t seem to capitalize on these fallbacks. Even with divisions within the ruling party, corruption allegations and political anarchy, they still continue to gain milage especially among rural voters. The average Zambian voter is gullible and in many instances the value of their vote can be equated to a disposable Chinese t-shirt and PF has fully capitalised on this mass ignorance and an uninformed electorate. A lot of ‘develoomental’ projects will be rolled out for political milage by the ruling party which will make the opposition job even harder.
Another dimension that has been largely dormant is the aspect of the Youth vote. Opposition doesn’t seem to have a tangible plan for youth participation and inclusion in their parties, save for parties like Fred M’membe’s Socialist Party, the only party to have a clearly outlined ideology so far. If young people decide to, they can drastically change the political landscape of the country and decide who forms the next government. As things stand, there is a notable and steady uprising of youth who have decided to be the game changers and not spectators in their own game.
So if opposition think PF will be wiped out just like that in the next 12 months, I’m afraid people will have heart conditions and high blood pressure when ECZ announces the results the way your preempted victory on Facebook yesterday was crushed by the actual results. Meanwhile lawyers will be on standby to chew your money. In fact what a number of people are asking is whether opposition will be a lesser evil than what we have in PF today.