By Judah Scariot Sean Tembo – PeP President
The political fortunes of PF have improved significantly since the 2016. The question is why? Others may dispute the fact that the PF’s political fortunes have improved. Why is the PF being embraced by more and more Zambians instead of the opposite? Well, different people will provide different explanations but my view is that there are two reasons to explain this misnomer.
Firstly the PF have a clear advantage over the opposition in that the ruling PF have unlimited financial resources and the opposition are predominantly broke.Did Sata give up on this situation? Of course note. Instead he did two things; firstly he told the people that if the ruling MMD give you money, just get but don’t tell them that you are voting for PF. Donchi Kubeba. Secondly, Sata portrayed himself as a poor man in the eyes of the masses and every time when declaring assets.
The second reason in my view why the PF political fortunes have continued to grow despite their dismal performance in office is the poor strategy employed by the opposition to manage their people and structures, which feeds into the PF propaganda. Take for instance the stance by the opposition to discipline party members who are elected representatives, for being part of the entourage receiving President Lungu whenever he visits an area. What is wrong with an opposition Councillor or Council Chairman meeting and engaging the President and telling the president what the needs of his people are in his or her area? Why should a Council Chairman be suspended from the party simply because he met and greeted the President?
When a Councillor or Council Chairman is elected, do they become the property of their party president or they are representatives of the masses who voted for them? If they are representatives of the people, then how are they going to represent the people if they are banned from engaging with government officials? Of course the ruling PF have fully taken advantage of this irrational behavior of some opposition leaders and use it as a major campaign tool by telling the masses that if they vote for the opposition then no development will come in their area because their elected representative will not be allowed to engage government and explain the needs of his people.
In other words, the opposition through their thoughtless conduct are shooting themselves in the foot! But perhaps the bigger question that deserves an answer is why any opposition leader would ban his elected members from engaging with government? To some extent, this points to the opposition leader using his position as party president to settle his personal hate and malice against President Lungu. Therefore, whenever he sees any of his elected party members associating with the President and telling the President about the needs of their people, the opposition leader becomes personally aggrieved to the extent of suspending the party member from his party. But then the question is; should politics be based on personal hatred against one another or it should be based on civilized and open disagreement on principle? Perhaps the question should be; should we hate those that we disagree with?
To a large extent, the opposition is the reason why the PF is thriving despite their dismal performance in office. For as long as we do not undertake a paradigm shift in the manner that we practice opposition politics, the PF might remain in power for a very long time…. almost did it !!!