Opinion: Chipenzi Says It Takes Courage To Join A Party With Dwindling Fortunes

The decision by Cde Antonio M. Mwanza to join the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) from the third positioned opposition political party, FDD, at the point when the ruling party is less attractive, riddled with allegations of corruption, maladministration, disrespect of the rule of law, constitutionalism and shrinking the democratic space and when some founder members are leaving it, is sign of courage to confront political challenges in one’s political life.

It may not be an easy and a popular decision for him but may be a necessary step for now for him. In any case, politicians believe in the principle of “no permanent enemies but interests”. If he finds hostility in PF, he may come back to FDD or UPND or join another party existing or form his own and then form alliances with existing parties. That is the beauty of multiparty democracy.

However, Antonio’s decision may be unpopular in eyes of those who wanted him join them and many other citizens who felt he was a good ally in raising critical issues of governance including myself.

But I have known Antonio as a young student at UNZA when he was UNZASU president who demonstrated rare courage in the face of intimidation from the authorities and was a very good newsource of mine, just like young Cde Cornelius Mweetwa, when I was a reporter at the Post Newspaper and later on befriended Rashid Quengela who is also in one of the committee in PF now while I was Director at FODEP.

These three young men were and still are courageous in their activeness in politics. Both Cornelius and Antonio supported the opposition UPND in 2006 before and even after the breakaway that rocked the party after the party convention of the same year.

The Convention saw the resignation or walk aways of a number of big and senior party figures from the party. At that time, it was unfashionable to support the UPND lest you were accused of being tribal because of it was smeared with a lot of allegations of tribalism.

There was a fierce and vicious political war that was waged against it both by the media and other political opponents within and outside the party. But Antonio and his colleagues such as Stanford Kabwata, Cornelius Mweetwa et al as young fresh UNZA graduates, viciously supported the party to the end even when they had no party positions.

After the 2006 elections, most of these young Turks withdrew from their active involvement in political activities save for Cornelius who was elected at the convention as UPND national deputy party spokesperson and later on elected MP for Choma Central while Antonio warmed himself with NGOs before joining FDD.

When Antonio joined FDD after 2011 elections, again, the FDD was in the political wilderness as it had lost its political and electoral steam and juicy. Antonio managed to pump in life to the party to the extent that the party gained some level of national recognition and popularity in the country, though little was made in terms of increasing its electoral fortunes which as it stands today, remains characterised by a single MP since 2011.

Therefore, I find Antonio’s move to join PF at a point when it is less attractive and has been unfashionable by many to do so, other than being his political and democratic right and freedom, as a sign of courage and a demonstration of the inherent character of his characteristics.

However, the difference perhaps this time around in the new party will be that, the party seems to be a little bit cleverer and craft to young critical politicians like Antonio than these other parties he had joined previously.

There has been an observable political trend in the ruling party where most of these critical young defectors are deposited in the party’s media committee to defend what they condemned when on the other side such as corruption, maladministration and collective irresponsibility.

For instance, some of the active and promising young politicians like Brian Hapunda (ex-UPND), Frank Bwalya (ex-NGO/ABZ), Jevan Kamanga (ex-Narep), Thabo Kawana (ex-MMD), Sunday Chanda (ex-MMD) and now Antonio Mwanza (ex-UPND/FDD) to mention by a few who were and have been fiercest critics of the ruling Party are now deposited in this Committee and have and/or will have to defend the sprawling allegations of corruption, bribery, maladministration inherent in the PF which they alleged to be rampant not too long ago when on the other side.

After they have done their duties and cleansed the party of such allegations, they may be rendered politically irrelevant and impotent like what has happened to my young man Brian Hapunda and now the visible mute Frank Bwalya who, not too long ago, was outspoken in PF as a Deputy Media Committee Chairperson.

Therefore, my advice to my good Cde and friend Antonio Mwanza is to set his eyes and read the political campus always and make decisions that should not take away his relevance in the noble calling of defending the common good of the poor Zambians and creation of a sound statecraft.

Many will condemn Antonio but I think it will be good to give him space to demonstrate his worth in a ruling party which he has never been since the creation of the world.

He must also not allow himself to be used to smear dirty political campaigns against his former political parties because there is saying that “be good to people you have left behind so that your future where you go is made good too.”

I wish you, Antonio Mwanza in the PF and be ready now as deputy media director to defend these allegations of corruption, maladministration et al to make a grade otherwise, you stay may be shorter and unceremonious than the celebrations and welcome media briefing in the Party.

I submit!!!

McDonald Chipenzi

Political Commentator


  1. mulase

    Mr Mwanza has jumped from a canoe into the sinking ship nd I just hope he is equipped with a life saving jacket otherwise we shall lose a young nd vibrant politician. Wat we ar yet to hear now is how he will defend that which he used to condemn in the PF led govt.Ise ba NDC we shall continue with our Faka Pressure slogan to the PF.

  2. Mpombo

    Who said PF is less attractive ask Kalaba and Kambwili why they’re still in PF.Saboi left UPND to join NDC and no one made noise. In politics its wishful thinking to write off a ruling party 3years before voting a lot can happen. Hillary Clinton was destroyed a week before voting when she thought the coast was clear to be President. I urge all PF members to remain fortitude and not be swayed by social media opinions.Time is our greatest asset in politics.

    • Hammer

      PF has never been attractive to UPND cadre Chipenzi ! So nothing new to learn here.

  3. Magaba

    Hmm what about you,self acclaimed ” electoral expert” what is it that you have brought to the fore apart from your incessant and parochial satire of Zambian politics. Just keep your UPND thoughts to yourself. There are better political analysts out there.

  4. mkango

    Comment sorry antonio people in zambia have discontented pf
    whay puting yourself to the losing side in 2021 you will agree with me sorry

  5. mulase

    Y do pipo keep asking or rather pushing these Ministers who leave govt to resign their Parliamentary seats as if they don’t know the cost of a bye election?Nizanyina wanu ndalama zati ba ECZ akasebenzese?Instead of that money to be used buying drugs in hospitals nd other govt programs muli la la la la resign resign resign..nizanyoko ndalama.U think these former ministers enjoy being in a finished party?Do they even attend yo meetings akoswe imwe?Uuh naleka ninga chimwe nipa sondo lelo.

  6. kawax

    Chakunyonga chikala. Pf is not going any where. Pf beyond 2021

    • Jonasampa1962

      Napya umwaiche,flies can seat on the dead,like mwanza

  7. Sirb

    Sonta epowabombela.Mr Mwanza you live your own life,therefore the choice is yours and to benefit your family

  8. chali kaluba

    Just campaign openly4yo tribal party.

  9. Uncle Bizzo

    Are we living in formality or reality, ?

  10. Advisor

    Every person has his on choice, so let him alone, Zambia is still on it’s way, life is like a game others are going out others joining,he will join other part when p,f is out, we call it stepping Stone.

  11. Happy

    Mr chimpanzee you are not a electrol expert but a upnd vuvuzela,you wanted the siavonga seat but rejected within your party because you’re not marketable so leave the young man alone chilamuntu ne chakwe.period

  12. Uncle Bizzo

    One day reality will come out.

  13. saimbwende saimbwende

    Mr.Chipenzi I know you are pro UPND going by your TONGA name. Your sentiments have always been anti PF and this renders your analysis flawed and biased. If Pf was not attractive it could not scoop 9 out 12 seats in recent elections in which your UPND again performed poorly. If UPND is the most attractive party why is that people are resigning only to join PF and NDC, recently you lost saboi to NDC and no one has joined UPND since then, so which party has dwindling political fortunes between PF and UPND? how many MPs UPND has and how many has Pf? for your own information even in the event of a rerun in 2021 between PF and UPND it is most likely that NDC will throw his weight behind PF, so the indications are that the current political environment favours PF and not UPND.

  14. Lolo

    Us in NDC will continue with our slogan AYENDE

  15. Uncle Bizzo


  16. Uncle Bizzo


  17. Kapatu villager

    Bs chipenzi what are you talking about the fortunes of pf ,Wait and see what Will happen to your party. Honesty you can can’t win 2021 elections. There are not going to be Early elections anytime soon, this tell it to your bosd

  18. FGM

    Chipenzi’s analysis as at now is very correct, but PF can put its house in order and rebrand itself and become a salable party in 2021.

  19. aticulater gibs

    Hungry dogs never stay at the same place. Nkubasiya buyo bakalimanzila abo. There is time for everything. Umoyo wakang’ono ndiye mwe ulili. Macimo yatamangisa mwine. Wishing him a happy short life.

  20. mulase

    Iwe ka kabwax sichingati babe use FOR GOD SO LOVED Zambia that he gave us Hon Chishimba nd Hon Kalaba that WHO SO EVER BELIEVE nd vote for them THEY SHALL HAVE A PROSPEROUS life nd shall NOT die of Cholera!.. So may it be so for ever nd ever AMEN!

  21. mulase

    Iwe ka kabwax sichingati babe ise “FOR GOD SO LOVED Zambia that he gave us Hon Chishimba nd Hon Kalaba that WHO SO EVER BELIEVE nd vote for them in 2021,THEY SHALL HAVE A PROSPEROUS life nd shall NOT die of Cholera!.. So may it be so for ever nd ever AMEN!

  22. Kunta Kinte

    The 1 that started working at 06:00h and the 1 that started working at 12:00h will receive the same wage . Ndelolesha fye

  23. HH azinama!

    what about you Mr. Analyst Expert Chipenzi, did it take you a lot of courage to miscalculate by quitting a good job in a good NGO only to be sidelined by HH, who you thought would adopt you as MP candidate? Waona manje!

  24. Love your neighbor

    The worst tribalists I have ever read of is saimbwende on this platform, he/she will never write a comment with

  25. Love your neighbor

    The worst tribalists I have ever read of is saimbwende on this platform, he/she will never write a comment without talking about Tongas, not all Tongas support politics, you better be realistic instead of provoking your friends always, with this mentality tribalism will never end, I propose a law which will be arresting people like saimbwe

  26. Sj

    Ba McDonald, akanani kantu kali mu mbali. (ln this case PF). Of all the Political parties currently doing the rounds PF can be said to be viable where as the future of THE rest can’t easily be gauged. Comment

  27. Majoni Tyson

    The defection of this blind mwanza adds no weight to the shrinking outgoing ruling party. This man is speaking for employment bcoz pf can only do good to those who accept to join in doing evil. Sure a man who royal to this nation can dare to join the butch of destroyers. Their agenda is leave this country empty and it take a century to revamp. Yooh,,, God were are you, the pipo that worship u are perishing, give their leader to drag them out of this abyss.

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