By Dr. Joze Manda
• Voters in 2016 liked Lungu’s promise to stem the tide of massive infrastructure development.*
• Unless the combined opposition (which is NOT most likely to happen) can put up ONE credible candidate willing to deliver a similar agenda, they have already lost.
Zambian must not put too much stock in all those questionable predictions you’re hearing about Zambia’s elections in 2021 on social media and some hostile media houses who are paid to promote the agenda of known imperialists. Anyone saying that the opposition will win outrightly in 2021 without a clear analysis of the current political situation are probably just trying to get your attention and pre brainwash you so as to programme your brains to not accept their lose in 2021.
And probably they succeeding. We’ve all fallen for headlines and clickbait proclaiming foreknowledge of events. We do it for sports and just about any other outcome that cannot be foreseen and that goes for elections too and particularly in a high-stakes, pivotal cycle such as we will be faced with in 2021.
Zambia’s current challenges are global economic trends and climate change based and the quicker we get the grip of it all, the better we will understand the political quagmire we find ourselves in. It is also easy to predict that with a little more works on the economy, Edgar Lungu will easily win the 2021 elections because the focus of the opposition has been to capitalize on the challenges our country is facing, to the dismay of many citizens.
The connection between economics and politics is clearly visible. Economic production sustains human life which, for most people, is the most important concern in life. The prestige of a democratic government, its rise and fall, usually depend on its economic performance and that is way Edgar Lungu has put his effort and that of his government in overdrive to cartel the challenges we are facing as can be seen with his commitment pledges as 2020 begins. It is a new year and new pledges have been made and we will see massive economic changes in the positive within the next six months.
The steps taken by Lungu’s government to make the citizens the beneficiaries of the gold recently discovered will inspire the citizens to work and support Lungu’s efforts to easy the pain citizens are facing and this will also help create a health economic position for our country.
The reported discovery oil in Southern province and the plans by government to explore every inch of it to benefit the citizens, will also see a huge cash inflow in billions of dollars which will help easy the hostile global economic challenge that has affected our economy so drastically.
As things stand, it is easy to to conclude that Lungu will win the 2021 elections because the electoral map of 2021 closely resembles that of 2016 with most votes in about six provinces going to the the PF. In Lusaka and the copperbelt, the PF will also win with a slight majority in the face of the economic decline, but will also have a huge advantage and space to tap in, from the new voters who will be registered between now and then of which the majority are the youth who resonate with PF on many lines.
The main opposition, UPND is still fatally divided over outdated ideologies and leadership wrangles, proving that they haven’t yet learned the lessons of its 2016 defeat. They have a leader who selfishly holds on to three TOP party positions of – President, Vice president – Administration and Vice President – Politics. His paranoia of past loses has dealt him a huge psychological blow which in essence has turned him into an authoritarian dictator or a small god who suffer from inferiority complex.
It is also most troubling to UPND, who know they have nothing and no one to offer Zambians to beat Lungu. It is easy to see what is really going on here. UPND have weaponized the economic challenges and are using it as a political tool against an opponent they cannot beat.
Dr. Joze Manda is Political Analyst based in Lusaka.