Lungu, HH liabilities
In less than 8 (Eight) months all so, Zambia goes to the polls but we are likely to see the Edgar Lungu and Hakainde Hichilema contest because the two comrades seem not to be willing to be challenged by any of their party leaders to take over the party leadership.
The two gentlemen want to appear on the 2021 Presidential ballot against all odds even if it means going against their party manifestors.
Let us briefly analyse Edgar Lungu’s behavior towards the internal politics of the ruling Patriotic Front(PF).
Lungu came into office in 2015 following the demise of President Micheal Sata. He controversially won the Mulungushi Rock of Authority PF convention. We have used the word “controversially won” because results were determined by hand rise as opposed to casting the votes in the Ballot and his opponents were not allowed space as violence ensued.
Following his election as PF president and subsequent positioning as Zambia’s firth President, the once viewed humble leader started punishing his opponents of the disputed Mulungushi Convention. GBM or Geoferey Bwalya Mwamba was the first to go and joined the UPND. Guy Scott, the man who ruthlessly opposed President Lungu’s elections at the Convention was also frustrated and joined Mwamba in the PF. Myles Sampa and his cousin Mulenga Sata were both pushed to the UPND. Myles who was declared winner of the convention had to form his political party called Orange Party before joining hands with Hakainde Hichilema.
That was not all. When Lungu was reelected in 2016 he went for Chishimba Kambwili, fired him from his ministerial position before completely hounding him out of the party. The other person who was remaining was ironically Kelvin Bwalya Fube who helped the President at the 2015 convention. KBF even confessed that he had to wake up the Judge at dawn to ensure that he files for an injunction, blocking to become PF president.
KBF crossed President Lungu when he started calling for the PF convention to allow the current MCC members to be challenged. According to KBF, an architect of PF manifesto, the current PF MCC members were illegally as their mandate expired hence fresh elections were needed.
Bwalya held the tiger by the tale when he declared his interest of becoming PF president. He stated that he would not be challenging President Lungu because he does not qualify to contest the 2021 polls, having been elected twice as Zambian leader.
KBF was shown the door but he still insists that the PF should hold a convention were he will stand as president of the party and subsequent 2021 candidate.
This shows that President Lungu is undemocratic and that he does not want to be challenged. What is disturbing is that President Lungu wants to stand for Presidency for the third time, an act contrary to the Constitution of the land which he vowed to protect. Lungu is going against the Constitution. Now should he file for his nomination, the PF may end up without a candidate as legal minds like John Sangwa have threatened to sue him when that time comes.
But is Hakainde Hichilema any cleaner in as far as promoting and defending democratic tennets in his UPND? The answer in a big no.
Hichilema has been losing elections since 2006 when he came on the scene, though some school of thought may argue that his first and second real test was in the 2015 and 2016 polls respectively but he does not want to give chance to any party member to internally challenge him. The man wants to continue on the ballot no matter how many times he loses the elections. If he was reasonable enough, he should allow anyone with Presidential ambition to challenge him. That would definitely increase public confidence but it seems ba mwesho is power hungry and wants to be President of Zambia at all costs.
Hichilema is even too scared to appoint a vice president. UPND is the only party that has been changing vice presidents like shirts. All this is as a result of HH’s insecurity. Now they have stayed close to a year without a vice president and to them this seem normal. Are you telling us that in UPND there are no capable people of seconding President HH. We doubt that because UPND has many intellectuals and strategists. But Hichilema is scared that one day he may find that his presidency has been taken over.
As we conclude, it is not a crime for party members to have Presidential ambitions. People must be given chance to fulfil the wishes of democracy. If the UPND are showing us that they are undemocratic, how can we trust them to rule this great nation. Our prayer is that both UPND and PF goes to the convention before the General Elections.