The opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) has for last 48 hours been wallowing in self-pity. The party through its president Hakainde Hichilema have been on rampage lamenting how they have been on the receiving end of political violence. Hichilema has had everyone believe that his cadres have had their arms folded in the heat of political harassment and attack. It has almost been made to look like the UPND has been devoid of violent tendencies. It is a narrative that has largely gone one sided. The UPND aligned voices like political commentator MacDonald Chipenzi and Zambia Civic Education Association (ZCEA) executive director Judith Mulenga have picked on the victim mantra and broadcast it before the world.
What everyone should be alive to is that the UPND has gone into overdrive mischaracterizing a call for violence as self defense. They have subtly been telling the whole world that they should be free to practice violence as they claim to be a victim of it. They are slowly becoming at home with violence as their only way to achieving political power. Has not their vice president Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba been a living chief priest of violence? In any case, who are the originators of the Panga for Panga doctrine? Did not GBM recruit some youth at his Villa Elizabeth gymnasium in a matter that infamously became known as unlawful drilling? The blame game is all too good but political players should take an honest introspection of their actions. Any sane person would admit that the UPND did not lose the elections in Chilanga because of violence.
The UPND know too well about the garbage that the candidate they fielded in Chilanga came with. To go to town and whine about being victims of violence when in reality they should be reworking their electoral strategies smacks of hypocrisy.
What Hichilema should be telling his followers is how they are going to regenerate the party ahead of the 2021 general elections. Understandably opposition politics are difficult in any set up but even the most elementary of opposition politicians need not be reminded about how the late Michael Sata got down to work after the 2006 elections that he narrowly lost. Rather than sustain the cry baby mentality that has become part of the UPND DNA, Hichilema should roll up his sleeves and get down to win over the masses through a well-orchestrated campaign otherwise the mayoral elections provided yet another political disaster.