Many of the so called founder members of the ruling Patriotic Front seem to have a bone to chew with President Lungu for allowing former members of MMD to “gatecrash” the party and continue enjoying the banquet at the high table at the expense of long standing members of PF.
After scooping the elections, they obviously expected President Lungu to simply round up everyone from MMD and throw them out through the window so that they would continue “eating” alone.
Sometimes our hearts are filled with compassion for the President. He finds himself in the unfortunate position of attempting to steer a ship on the verge of sinking after sudden demise of the captain but the crew isn’t eager to see new people jump on board to help navigate the vessel to safety.
“Mwalikwisa ninshi twalechula mu opposition?” you would hear them complain.
What kind of thinking is this?
Many political pundits or analysts would tell you that without the much needed support from MMD, PF would be languishing in opposition today! In fact former President Rupiah Banda tirelessly campaigned for PF in his home province (Eastern) that they even coined a popular campaign phrase – PF na MMD ili ngati Cell phone na sim card (PF and MMD are like a mobile phone and a sim card, the two can’t function without the other).
Although some people may want to dismiss President Lungu as an upstart still trying to master the craft of politics, on the contrary the gentleman is actually a shrewd and tactful politician.
While most in PF expected him to commit what we may refer to as political suicide by sidelining those that assisted him win the elections, he did what any honorable person would do. He delivered on his part of the bargain by rewarding a number of individuals from MMD lofty government positions.
Some of the names that immediately come to mind are: Felix Mutati – Finance minister, Bowman Lusambo – Copperbelt province minister, Dora Siliya – Agriculture minister, Vincent Mwale – Minister of local government, Lucky Mulusa – Minister of national planning and Katambo – Fisheries & Livestock minister etc.
One veteran politician once observed that Zambians have short memories. In case some folks deserve reminding, President Lungu won the elections by a paltry margin of 100,530 votes, roughly representing 3% of total votes cast. Isn’t this a near miss?
If at all there is a party that had representation in every corner of the country, it is definitely MMD. Now suppose the said individuals never went back to the branches to convince their members to vote for PF, would PF have bounced back in power? Muletasha nokutasha; give your colleague a break!
As they say, there are no permanent friends or enemies in politics; it therefore remains to be seen how long this marriage of inconvenience between PF and MMD remains sustainable given the recalcitrant attitude of some PF members.
Bill M. Kapinga