Can Political Rally Crowds Be Trusted?

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!



  1. Charles Chanda

    Wish 2021 can be like next week

    • Dominic

      My question still stands.How many defectors from other political parties did UPND harvest during their mammoth rally in Kitwe?

    • Leon


      • Mukwasu

        History should not repeat itself, remember this – a video in which UPND Kalulushi Candidate Evaristo Mwalilino’s  driver revealed how Hakainde Hichilema and Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba’s Kalulushi Constituency  votes where concealed went viral after it was aired on Prime TV.
        In the video, Wanna Chiyanga is confessing that his boss Mwalilino was given K21000, K360 000 for 21,966 votes and dropping the election petition respectively.
        He disclosed that former President Rupiah Banda, former Information Minister Kapamba Mulenga and axed PF Deputy Chairperson for Elections Kelvin Fube Bwalya (KBF) and Mwalilino were heavily involved in the scheme of things.

  2. Charles Chanda

    Oh how I Wish 2021 can be like next week or next month so that weights can be weighed


    The author of this article is right on one thing, it would be very unwise for any politician to outrightly judge or predict his or her victory by the magnitude of the crowds, but I feel it’s important to state that crowds and numbers in political rallies say a lot to political players. Mr. Author, also understand that politics in Zambia is changing!!! it’s not business as usual especially for the ruling party….if I may, in today’s politics differing with you on this would still make sense, maybe what you see in the crowds and on social media, especially from the time ECL assumed office after the demise of MCS is actually what obtains on the ground!! Let me challenge you now by requesting you to go for yourself on the ground and conduct a research, not just siting in front of your PC and start writing things from your head, with preconceived ideas. I am saying so because your article sounds rather rhetoric against the opposition, but hey, if we were to have an election today, we all know who would carry the day, don’t we?

  4. Kaka george compound

    You couldn’t have put it any better than this,even if the people that attended the kitwe rally were truly upnd,how is it possible that they were all distributed with t shirts within a short period of time?some of these rallies are just stage managed naimwe.

  5. Manungu secondary

    Well wishes to 2021 we shall cast out our votes to the united party for national development

  6. CLINT


  7. Malio

    Dont just look at the crowds,there a lot of variables to consi.Look at what is on the ground,llad shedding, high mealie meal prices,abuse of citizens and opponents by cadres,no jobs,corruption, a president who cant discipline subordinates even cadres have refused to leave markets and bus stops ignoring his direction in short no leadership and you want to cast a dim light on the numbers attending rallies?Do so at your own peril…

  8. My party

    Go go go HH forward 2021

  9. brics

    Don’t we have other reporters other than pf cadres in these media platforms? Who doesn’t know what mmd did to mazoka in the same 2001? And you still think you’re hiding behind your middle fingers even after what pf also have been doing over and over again? Deadly snakes are usually very friendly if not appearing docile… careful!

  10. Curtis

    If you are a football player of green spears united and playing a cup finals against white bullets fc at levy stadium which has a capacity of 23000 only only to be reached by a meager 100 fans, how could you feel? The fact is that the huge number of crowds a zeal stakeholders have on the leaders.If I may ask, suppose a deranged leader of a certain political party hold a rally, could their be huge rallies? Crowds are indicators of what could be expected.

  11. Man of substance

    The wind of change is blowing heavily
    The author is the pf why didn’t he show the picture of the pf rally

  12. Observer

    If the UPND had pulled a very small crowd this editor would have a field day in critizing and ridiculing the party. This has definitely ruffled some feathers! A few years ago, let alone last year, UPND would not have been able to pull such a large crowd in CB, things are changing and the wind of change is blowing. Mind you, people got rained on at that rally but still endured! As Bowman said, things are not well in CB, wake up and smell the coffee Mr. Editor.

  13. ajt

    we all hope you win hh but becouse of the crowd dont loss focuse

  14. Chako Paidcader

    Pf Why,Dnt Be Scared Time Wil Come

  15. Lisa

    A crowd measures the strength of a party. Let ba Tayali hold one rally and see the crowd size

  16. Pf cardar

    2021, Someone will cry! People are serious with change

  17. Austerity

    Just wondering where these people were during the last Lubwa local govt elections????Wouldn’t they have helped upnd to scoop the seat? Anyway just wondering…….

  18. Dr Fonicks

    Personally, the author of this headline seems to have I’ll feelings on the opposition. Why does he write like he has no eyes. Frankly speaking these rallies speak a volume. The author doesn’t know what’s on the ground. I challenge you to carry out a simple research by asking people of different personalities on what their stand is concerning the status quo of the economy. The biggest problem with some journalists in Zambia is that they tend to write nice things for their masters. Report factually not smearing information as if you are applying butter and jam on bread. Say the truth and set your conscience free. Muleke ubufi twapapata. When people attend these rallies, they want to hear news of how they may be saved. Adios Amigos!!!

  19. Elijah ilunga

    Wish 2021can be next week HH win!!!!!!!

    • Elijah

      Please! please!! We don’t want 2021 corrapution HH well win

  20. treason

    Here it’s 2021

  21. Ok

    I just hope it’s not one of those where Lusaka Upnd cadre died in Kaoma during by-elections.

  22. Martin .j.nyondo

    Good Mr hh

  23. The seeker

    The same can be said about the ruling part, they will have massive rallies but not everyone attending those political gatherings shall vote for them.

    • Pharaoh

      You are right.Any person can attend any politics gathering but does not automatically signal a victory to a such political Patty. Some people may attend for only curiosity. The only magic here is to have a registered voter and voting apathy. A vote is a secret Let’s went and see.

  24. Mlase

    Choolwe Mwiinga…u have a point here.The author of this article does not understand Zambian politics very well nd u can see that his preconceived analysis is anti UPND to be precise.I hail frm ECLs province nd he is a relation to me but Wat I have seen nd gathered on the ground here…is frightening to the ruling party.This is not mere rhetorics or semantics coming frm an easterner but a reality.Unless the God’s decide otherwise,we ar in for a rude shock.Getting back to the author of this article..pliz analyse issues without being biased just because u want to please yo masters.Wat Zambians want this time is simply change not because UPMD is offering any meaningful solution to this economic crisis we ar in but simply it’s simply because PF has failed nd seems not to have any solution to better the lives of our people PERIOD!!!!

  25. Steven

    Mmmmm!we know people are win on social media but losing in real life.Go go FDD my mother and father of the nation ECl PF for life.

  26. Lawrence

    This realy shows for year 2021

  27. pinx

    its like people will vote not that they want upnd or hh but change of gvt,where ever i go every one is complaining about enconomic hardship its like something is wrong somewhere, things are not just moving hardship is what what wil decampaign pf people wil think if they change gvt things wil be better

  28. Avis

    Yes politics is about numbers,this time around its vote and count.

  29. gupta

    Just waiting for 2021

  30. Baxter Mule

    This time around the popular opposition party will win ,even if the try to rig the different will b bigger for ruling party to catch up,I was not in support of MMD but i decided to vote for party crosser to win an election that was PF,so right now UPND will win & that is the part the pipo are voicing out in our days & even PF members in their lips it’s HH is HH that, only time will tell come 2021.

  31. Baxter Mule

    I think God has the way of removing anyone who is holding power by force ,we are experience droughts for pipo to turn against him, remember KK’s era the same happened wait & see who is prophecy the the truth between Sinyangwe & seer 1.

  32. Crazy monkey

    Pay back time ba pf, 48 ghorst flats , solar hummer mills, 27 billion stolen in pretence of paying it to lapgreen, iligal stay of ministers in offices, presidetial house in swazland, huge sums of money being stolen in the name of importing power after having enough waters at kariba, GOD WILL PUNISH YOU LUNGU.

    • Steven

      You cannot able to see and i understand you because your eyes are seeing waters

  33. luapula is for HH

    P f has gone kkkkķkkkk

  34. Chi.2

    Exam dodgers pliz,the answers must b yes or no.


    Well spoken Choolwe mwiinga, the fact of the matter is people ain’t really concerned about the solution that any party will bring all they have realised is that change is inevitable at this Point .Being one of the pipo present at that Rally i must say that the wind of change has really blown from all the four corners of our nation.
    Time being the best equalizer will someone else in plot one.

  36. Chiko

    You hav never changed anythng and u want change n 2021?Stop cheating yourself that pipo want change.If there z any cry 4 change really is 4 pipo who ar n upnd change yo leader or if possible entire upnd leadership.we dnt kno how long u pipo of southern nd yo tribalist chief goin 2 change yo minds anyway,i cant blame u coz yo voices ar n cows no one can interplate a mooo!sound.HH’s politics z abt condemning nd blamin gvmnt nd he always comes out with no solution over what he z condemin abt.we ar tired of advising him nd his party 4 convention nd if he z goin 2 win,it wil be a plus since he has never won anythng politically so,charity begins at home nd de hunger u hav seen dis year it was due 2 less rains what if there wil b enough rains nd bumper harvest nd no loadsheddng next year who z goin 2 look lyk a fool? New skuls,New roads,New hospîtals ar everywher so they will automatically sonta epobabomba u will think that they will play dununa,no!

    • To you Chiko!!

      it’s very easy to identify low millage brain today! When someone talks about tribalism, just know that the millage up stairs is still very low and has hardly been used. If you still have the guts to talk about tribalism, just know that you’re still very behind. Secondly, HH and his leadership style has made UPND what it is today. But he has not done this alone, credit goes to many others that have shown genuine loyalty to the party and believe in the principles for which it was founded….to Move Zambia Forward!!! and in all fairness and logic, the man and the party deserves an opportunity to do what they have stood for for the past 20 years!!!
      Unfortunately for you and your fellows who believe in tribalism, I must indicate that this is not a matter of bargain!!! whether you say akalusa nafuti, mukalusa nimwebo bamudala!

    • Chipata Boy

      We have all these drought calamities simply because God wants to punish us for voting and supporting a wrong Leader in the previous 2016 General election.

      Load shedding,Dollar has gone up our Kwacha has has depreciated,High Meali-meal price,48 Ghost houses,Kaiza Zulu beating up innocent people,Cadres controlling markets and Bus stations also beating innocent people,Stealing of Social Cash Transfer meant for the Vulnerable people,Corruption and blocking Opposition party from holding rallies.

      The writer of this article should research and find out how people are complaining on the ground.Even those we know who were PF die hard,are now regretting for casting their votes on irresponsible regime which has messed up our economy.Am an Easterner,but Come 2021 HH will have my vote,either he will win or loose.

  37. Monk

    Well said Chiko, we could not have said it any better. Surely, how can they be catalyst of change, when they have not changed anything in themselves?

  38. pinx

    chiko and monk dnt talk shit about southen just wait for 2021

  39. chiko

    If u ar hurt my friend stop first those who ar talkng shit abt 2021 coz we ar not yet there!!

    • Monk

      As long as you have the same leadership and attitude expect the same in 2021. No change!

      • To you Monk!! and Chiko!!

        What will you say if HH retains his position at the coming UPND General Conference? Change does not just come by because it has to!! what you are saying is as good as “talking because you want to talk, not because you have something to say”
        Change comes when it’s needed!! As a country, we need change, that’s the fact!! In my view, UPND does not need change of Leadership!! why, because the current leadership has not only grown the party to where it is now, but also significantly offered credible checks and balances to government reliably. The problems we are facing as a country today cannot be paged on natural calamities!! That is insane! Are we the only country faced with natural calamities? why are other countries better than us even when they face even worse circumstances than us?? Even when we have more natural resources than them, they still thrive and better the lives of their citizens…. The issue is leadership deficiency!! the caliber of leaders currently in government is pathetic!! We need Change! Your desire for UPND to change Leadership is baseless! it is rather influenced by hate. Nevertheless, I know you will like the man when his leadership after 2021 proves you all wrong…..

  40. Ty

    HH, SO YOU WANT TO WIN 2021 ???

  41. clint

    I tell u that HH is the only man in zambia no one agree with me,lnfact when u luk at 2021 it has already been in his Hands

  42. Mwansa lungu

    Well spoken

  43. jmax

    Upnd yu can’t win election no manifest

  44. subeti

    I think its westing of time to talk on election when things in our country is going bad and bad.I can assure you weather its UPND or Ka small party on 2021 PF Will not win the election that is the true


    I WIL WIN HH 2021


    HH WIN, WIN ,WIN, WIN……..2021

  47. Chendabusiku

    The writer is right to a larger extent for example the assumption that all those that go to a particular rally are all legible to vote or will vote, or will vote for the party that has organised the rally etc all these assumptions do not always hold water. The biggest loser has always been the voter. The belief that development of a nation solely rests in the leaders we vote for is a myth that must be dispelled from our minds. The development of a nation rests squarely on all economically active citizens of a nation. Because of our misplaced expectations we will keep on attending rallies looking for leaders to develop our nation and that will not happen because all these leaders have different capabilities. Still others do not even have leadership qualities except to foster the agenda of foreign interests. Good luck

  48. Field


  49. Penyani

    Cadre transportation is a political tactic 2 show pipo attendence but reality on the ground is difficult. Upnd and ndc are tactic whch has cause violence of cadre importion. Fake support and since 1991 tactic used as a sign 4 change yet not. MMD Promised many thing and failed 2 do them but pf did it and has delivered some

  50. Jackson j Nchimunya

    Mr hh when u are dowing rallis don’t forget a major thing in zambia to be okay …..dora

  51. Daniel

    Mr Hichilema help zambians in 2021 we will volt for you

    • Loverman

      The wind of change is blowing HH Zambians are behind you everything has gone high and the government its even saying better to have than none do u reconsider the poor those who can’t even afford three meals a day let’s open open up our eyes Zambians

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