These by-elections have shown us something that some people wouldn’t want to publicly admit. This is that the ruling Patriotic Front are the real victors at the end of the day! The Katuba result has pushed the PF upwards from 6,225 votes in 2016 to 7,024 in this by-election while the UPND has won by 8,727 from over 13,000 in 2016. This should be a source of big worry for the UPND. From 13,000 to 8,727! Eish, that’s a difference of about 4,000 votes between 2016 and 2019! What is happening? What happened?
A little more effort in mobilisation during campaigns could have seen the PF easily winning this seat. But, like others have said, the ruling party did not go in aggressively to beg for votes from the people and instead left it to the few visits made by the Head of State to do the magic. Several complaints were heard in the background about how relaxed the campaign team in Katuba was. That’s not how it works! We bet this is a good message to the top leadership and President Edgar Lungu himself.
Let’s talk about the ward by-elections: the PF has retained the Lubwa ward seat and two others in Shiwang’andu and Mansa. Additionally, it has won three new seats in Western Province previously held by the UPND. Well, this is quite an upset. If these by-election results are anything to go by, then we can safely say 2021 will be an interesting battle for the votes. Zambia’s opposition has a lot of homework to do before that time but as things stand, many Zambians have no confidence in all of the opposition leaders we have. There’s no credible opposition to write home about and safely say they have the muscle to dislodge the Patriotic Front from power, unless something out of the ordinary happens. However, those are very rare cases.
The bulk of people know well enough that the PF’s greatest impediment is not this country’s opposition parties but their own doings. These guys in opposition are not providing what is expected of the opposition – there are virtually no solutions being put on the table for the bulk of problems the country is facing today. Their best art is criticism, insults, accusations or name-calling! The best description that fits them actually is that they’re the most incompetent gang we’ve ever known.
Most of them are consumed in personal agendas that have little or nothing to do with the future of Zambia but only a means to raise their financial fortunes after a hard fall from grace. What a shame!
These guys in opposition have no capacity to mobilise the Zambians for a common cause – they’re all swamped self-importance. And this is the lot that the ruling PF faces today. With such on the ground, would one think they have a strong opposition capable of leading this country? The biggest threats for the PF right now are the Zambians themselves and its internal squabbles.
Lastly, the police must be commended for ensuring peace during these by-elections. There was high potential for temper flaring but the Zambia Police Service maintained peace and order.
To the UPND and the PF, congratulations for winning!