Sean and his league last Thursday held a press briefing in Lusaka to announce their decision that they will no longer be part of the Opposition Alliance because of the attitude of some members who do not value the unity of opposition in the country. A day before Sean’s announcement that he was leaving the Opposition Alliance, we wrote an opinion where we said it was just a matter of time before this pact comes to its knees. This was after the UPND and NDC differed over who should contest the Lubwa ward by-election as both parties decided to adopt candidates instead of only allowing the NDC to do so based on their prior agreement.
Chishimba Kambwili of the NDC even went on to say he was very disappointed with Hakainde Hichilema for allowing the UPND to adopt a candidate to also contest the Lubwa seat while the UPND said it did not need any help to win an election because the party was already popular. There is an ego problem!
When this story about the disagreement between Kambwili and Hichilema, the UPND president, came out in newspapers, we were very sure that another party (PeP), which is part of the Opposition Alliance, was going to break away from it because of one party declaring some superiority over others. It was just a matter of time before Sean, who was clearly an attack dog for the opposition alliance, could see that the coming together of these parties was only to benefit an individual. In short, selfishness has been at the centre of these opposition alliances that this country has seen.
During the briefing, Sean said: “As Patriots for Economic Progress, it is not our intention to sit here and argue whether opposition unity is necessary for a 2021 opposition electoral victory or not. However, the difference in opinion regarding the necessity of opposition unity as a prerequisite for a 2021 opposition electoral victory essentially renders our continued participation in the Opposition Alliance redundant. We joined and became a part of the Opposition Alliance with the hope and expectation of assisting each other through the creation of synergy. To the extent that some of the key members of the Opposition Alliance believe that they do not require any assistance, we cannot force ourselves and our assistance on them. Accordingly, we in the Patriots for Economic Progress have taken the decision to withdraw our membership and our participation from the Opposition Alliance with immediate effect.”
It is everybody’s guess which party here is carrying itself in a manner that portrays a picture that it does not need the help of others. This party has for many years failed to come to terms with the fact that it has a huge ego problem and as long as this continues, leading this country will end up a mere dream. The biggest problem the UPND has is intolerance to criticism. It feels superior to all other parties and considers itself the best when so much has gone wrong such that very few will remain in this Opposition Alliance of theirs. Probably only tu Nashala Neka parties will cling on because they have no constituency to command.