The past week had seen successive images of Luapula province Members of Parliament combing through the constituencies in near campaign like fashion. What has really prompted this sudden awakening by the Luapula lawmakers? Many reasons abound for the possible sudden sense of urgency.
Could it be that the resignation of Foreign Affairs minister Harry Kalaba from his portfolio may have sent warning signals that things may not after all be okay for the ruling party in a constituency they consider to be their bedroom? Kalaba has abandoned the privilege of his ministerial position to remain an ordinary lawmaker under the ruling Patriotic Front party.
Kalaba has taken a backseat but his having taken a walkabout in Bahati Constituency a few days gave an impression of how popular he remains among the people of Bahati Constituency. The ruling party seems to have gone into panic mode and sent all the party’s disciples into campaign mode. Even the more development and sober minded Dr Chitalu Chilufya has also caught the virus and has been making political pronouncements.
But it is not only the anti Kalaba rhetoric that has raised eyebrows of the unfolding political spectacle but also the messages that seems to be rendering certainty to President Edgar Lungu contesting the 2021 general elections. It is a matter that the courts have yet to decide but all the speakers have wound up on a note that the people should rally behind President Lungu in 2021.
Whatever the goings on it is very clear that the MPs are fighting something only them can see. It has been one week of incessant political campaigns and their adversaries may make a meal of not having the same opportunity given the gag provided by the Public Order Act.
While it is within the ministers’ prerogative to interact with their constituents it is however questionable that the desire should be sparked by the resignation of cabinet minister. How long the new found desire for constituency visitation by Luapula MPs is anybody’s guess.