The opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) has emerged bruised from the recent round of local government elections. They have been beaten pants down in what has previously been regarded as their bedroom in Western and North Western provinces. The UPND has only managed one out of the 13 local government elections. By any standards that is a very disturbing statistic for a party that prides itself in being the government in waiting. It is an election that has been lost largely on fair grounds. No one can credibly throw around the UPND favoured rigging mantra. And they now know better that any such cry baby antics will simply set them apart from the electorates. They were simply beaten and they surely know it. In many ways their defeat is self-inflicted as they have not been taking any advice from anyone. Only the opinion of the great leader and life president Hakainde Hichilema has counted.
Neutrals have been advising the UPND to rethink having Hichilema as their only choice in elections as surely the startling statistic of five time straight losses at Presidential elections is hardly a selling point for any reasonable political party. Unless of course the UPND operates on the principles of a monarch. Ideally the UPND must have been sailing at this point having also benefitted from the mileage of their international prisoner during the treason trial but being the ill political strategists that they are, every little advantage gain is overplayed hence turning off the highly discerning Zambian public. It is a capital they were hoping to over draw on without working for it. People expect them to get down to work and not play facebook and press briefing politics. The UPND has more belief in the illusion of facebook popularity and also almost daily press briefings at their secretariat to admire and extol their great leader.
They have hardly been on the ground to connect with the masses away from the illusion of facebook. They have largely suffered from poor selection of candidates where the voice of the grassroots is ignored as they bitterly learnt in the Chilanga parliamentary seat. It was a decision that only them could understand from a political standpoint. And they were resoundingly trounced in what had been their political stronghold. We expect that after this round of defeat the party will be ready to ask the hard questions that their leaders do now want asked. They should conduct an honest self-introspection that could help them regenerate their fortunes. If they continue at this rate they could be headed for a heavier catastrophe in 2021 that could send them into political oblivion.