Copperbelt was a hive of activity on Saturday. There were two political rallies in Kitwe – the opposition UPND and the NDC held separate gatherings that saw a number of people bussed to the respective areas.
On the other hand, PF’s Bowman Lusambo and other senior party members held a rally in his constituency, Kabushi in Ndola. The PF rally equally had a good attendance. Like is the trend in politics, some of those that attended this event were equally bussed to Kabushi. There have been situations where people are actually transported from Lusaka to remote areas to “beef up” on the rally numbers for most of our political parties.
Anyway, back to the Kitwe rallies. The outcome of these rallies has seen members of the two opposition political parties claiming easy victory in 2021. The yardstick being used to judge or predict this outcome? The rally attendance on Saturday! Now that sounds like a joke, right? Yes it is!
It is a warped thinking to tie electoral victory to the number of people that attend political rallies. It’s actually a very careless way of a politician judging his or her popularity on the ground. We’ve seen this before. UPND founder Anderson Mazoka used to pull large crowds during political rallies from the time of the party’s infancy stage. But Levy Mwanawasa won the elections in 2001. And we all know that Mazoka never won an election.
Let’s take a look at the ruling Patriotic Front itself! How many huge rallies did Mr Michael Sata and the PF hold and yet they lost elections a couple of times before the 2011 poll which it won!
Need we say more on these crowds at political rallies? If those rally numbers are anything to go by, Mr Sata would have been among one of the few politicians in Zambia to win presidential elections at first attempt. But rally crowds being what they really are, the scenario on the ground is always different.
It’s like judging the party’s popularity by the number of likes it gets from Facebook postings. Fake confidence is what social media gives, and those that try to rely on that usually cry after every election. There’s more wailing in store in 2021 actually! We wish elections could be held on Facebook!