When the people advise the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) they are accused of having ill intent toward the opposition political party. But by virtue of being the largest opposition political party, even in its rapidly diminishing state, the UPND bears the responsibility of being an alternative government. However, if anything is to be read into recent happenings where their fortunes have fallen flat on the political arena, it could not be too pessimistic to suggest that the end is nigh for the 20 year old political party. Yes, it is 20 years now since the politically astute Anderson Kambela Mazoka gave up the comfort of corporate life to dirty his hands with hard core politics and did come close to winning the 2001 elections.
Since then it has been a downward spiral for the UPND falling from having them towering personalities like Sakwiba Sikota, Patrick Chisanga, Benny Tetamashimba, Inonge Wina, and Bob Sichinga to the levels of political chatterboxes like Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, Stephen Katuka, Willian Banda among other political rejects.
The UPND has now become a home of dodgy political characters after having ridden on a polished political image that endeared itself to the intelligentsia and the better part of the mass of the ordinary citizenry. It is not in our place to point out what may have gone wrong but the death of founding president (Mazoka) marked the beginning of the end. The year 2018 has been particularly telling on how rapidly the UPND has degenerated to the extent that even candidates can pull out on nomination day. If ever the UPND needed anything to jack up their sense of urgency, the withdrawal of Dr Faustin Banda from the Kasenengwa parliamentary race on nomination day could be that moment. Surely as embarrassing as the episode may be it could be the moment the UPND began to ask themselves the hard questions of what lies ahead. They have diminished to a facebook party that delights in the illusion of social media. Given that their weekly circuses at the secretariat passing for press conferences have not yielded them any electoral victory other than one ward victory, it could be time to change tactics or even horses otherwise they are headed for political extinction.
We leave it to posterity to judge but this could be the beginning of the end.