The squabbles between the opposition UPND of Hakainde Hichilema and Chishimba Kambwili’s NDC over the coming Lubwa ward and Katuba parliamentary by-elections has vindicated us and a number of other people that have time and again written about how difficult, or impossible, it is to work with the UPND leader.
The NDC and UPND got into an arrangement where they pledged support to each other in by-elections like they did in Roan where the NDC candidate won the election. From that, they both put their popularity on a pedestal that will be difficult to show come 2021 because, like predicted, everything seems to crumble faster than they start.
On March 1, 2019, we wrote an opinion which was necessitated by the opposition alliance’s expulsion of Andyford Banda, the president of the People’s Alliance for Change (PAC), where we made mention of the fact that we knew from the very beginning that their alliance would not last. This is an alliance that is being driven by an individual’s desire for power without regard for the input of others who equally have their own constituencies to command in this country. What should not be forgotten is that there has never been a successful political alliance in Zambia as several of them formed before always crumbled in no time due to some selfish interests. We once had a pact formed among UPND, FDD, ZRP and others which was called the UDA and the end result of that is history.
Then we have had a pact between the Patriotic Front, in opposition then, and the UPND itself. We all know very well what led to the end of that pact! Someone was not ready to accept the fact that the alliance partner was a better candidate for the 2011 elections and that is how everything fell apart. One would ask: what is this with HH and alliances or agreements with other parties? We are also tempted to ask this because since his joining politics, he is always thinking about alliances, which, sadly, he fails to sustain. What is wrong with him? Or is it his party that has issues with everyone else they try to work with. The UPND and its entire top leadership seems to be basking in some sought of self-proclaimed greatness such that working with others is such a big deal. Because of that pomposity, they feel too important to be subjected to leadership of another person. It is definitely the same story with Kambwili! That is why their recently made agreement on by-elections could not be sustained because they are of the same species.
Ego issues have always been at play and will forever be the case when it comes to opposition alliances or pacts or electoral agreements, or whatever anyone may wish to call them. Right now, each of these opposition leaders feels so important such that they consider themselves superior to the others when in reality, they are not. A number of them have been lied to and keep deceiving themselves that the next elections will be child’s play! Only the results of 2021 will make them wake up to the bitter truth and realities on the ground and they will be left alone to lick their very sore wounds.