The official opposition’s task is to oppose government policies by providing alternatives or feasible solutions, but effective politicians must master the art channeling popular discontent with hard earned facts.
This may be made easier if they can be seen to voice the concerns of wider society and not their personal issues. However, in the race to tackle this there is always a temptation to reduce national matters to a personality contest which currently can be seen to have no place in modern and the future of our politics.
They run the risk of channeling the popular mood against themselves.
A primary danger for opposition parties is appearing to leap opportunistically on every problem for government. In opposition, Kambwili should avoid becoming like UPND who could be nicknamed “UPND Bandwagon” for desperately attaching themselves to various populist criticisms of the Lungu government.
So while NDC may continue to occasion discomfort on PF, any attacks should be attached to a wider national narrative about areas that should be prioritised and protected, and they may advance further if they manage to damage the PF image as the pro-poor party.
The party has lost elections that have deep symbolic significance for its fortunes, and its present state. It lost an election an event which would have been inconceivable, a few days and months ago, judging by the successful perceptions they have created. The loss could do either of two things: provide a significant and strategic assessment of its weaknesses and strengths, as well as chart a practical way toward; or represent a final seal on its fortunes.
However, if the NDC find a new leader who could be helped by the consultant they could establish themselves positively in the public mind and could be taken seriously. This personality campaign against Lungu is not working. Its a tricky strategy, because a party seeking to lead needs a much broader agenda than a personality contest. What happens if President Lungu doesn’t stand, so they will eventually be facing a new and untested leader. Will they be able to generate a legitimate campaign against a leader who has not yet won a general election?
Finally, my advise to the NDC now that they know that they won the popular vote but lost the election. NDC should go on a diet, they ought to lose some political weight. They appear in perception big but very weak and feeble, incapable of equalling their talk. Like the adage goes power corrupts, but the lack of power corrupts absolutely.
Prince J. Ndoyi