Analysis by Emmanuel Chilekwa
Next year, the people of Zambia will, for the 7th time in 50years, state their trust and confidence in one of the political parties that would take part in the tripartite and Constitutional referendum.
The UPND made an emphatic 155% poll improvement over its previous performance compared to the ruling party, PF’s 24% improvement in the last three years.
Comparing the 2015 results against the 2011 presidential polls, it is unimaginable that Northern Province could hand out the worst rejection of the PF in terms of lost votes for the PF, which made a positive poll gain only in one province – Eastern Province, courtesy of the MMD’s Rupiah Banda support, whilst opposition UPND recorded an emphatic positive gain in all the nine Provinces in this analysis.
However, it is worth noting to decipher what the Zambian voter is saying.
Amazingly, many people – learned and ordinary in Zambia today, are unable to read the writing on the wall. Some are opting to still continue wallowing in self-delusion not based on critical analysis of synthesizing the clear message the Zambians are saying to the ruling party PF and to the main opposition party, UPND.
All the rest of the other political parties, which took part in the last polls, including the former ruling party MMD, just managed to slice off a pathetic 4%, with FDD leader, Edith Nawakwi, coming 3rd with 0.9%.
The MMD came 4th in the 20 January 2015 Presidential by-election.
Therefore, PF Secretary General, Davies Chama’s blind blurting this week that PF has swallowed the MMD and the UPND, is highly uninformed.
Of course, it’s easy to swallow the MMD who account for less than 1%, but the PF is incapable of swallowing an equal poll giant, the UPND which polled 47.2% against the PF’s 48.8%. The PF got 807,925 against the fierce poll rival, UPND’s 780,168 votes coming second place.
Without doubt, Zambians have drastically been losing confidence in the current PF, whilst posting their thrust and confidence in the UPND. This, they spoke in the last Presidential polls, which saw the sitting party, the PF just emerge victorious with a paltry 1.7% difference.
With such result, there was no incumbency advantage on the part of the PF. It can’t be ruled out that there may have been an empathy vote in favour of the PF on account of the demise of its founder, late Michael Chilufya Sata.
Many supporters, including myself, all came out to band together to install the man Sata left in the saddle, to complete Sata’s term.
As for 2016, the ball game will be different. The PF will be assessed for who they are and what they have done.
The voters will review the PF either as truthful and trusted lot or dismiss it as a team of liars with no plan for the people of Zambia on governance, economy and social issues.
Clearly, the PF has abrogated the trust and confidence on the Constitution, Taxes and Liberties. The Church has even come out praying that the sooner the PF leaves government, the better it can be for the country.
Based on the 2015/2011 comparisons, in the beginning, the PF under Michael Sata was trusted much more than the PF under Edgar Lungu.
Figures say so. Whilst the UPND has improved 155% over their last poll performance, the PF has only managed a paltry 24% improvement, making the current government of the PF beat UPND by a marginal 1.7%.
Going forward, and based on unfulfilled promises, it is a founded fact that the voters are placing more and more confidence in the UPND whilst fast losing faith trust in the ruling PF.
No wonder, the PF lost so many votes, compared to their 2011 entry performance against the then ruling party, MMD, under party leader Rupiah Bwezani Banda.
Apart from Eastern Province, in the rest of the nine Provinces by Province (Muchinga excluded), the PF has performed badly.
In Eastern Province, with the full effort put in by Rupiah Banda, the PF only grew by 29,017, the UPND grew by 23,178 whilst the MMD shrunk by 232,283 votes.
This is the only Province where the PF grew, whilst they lost votes in all the other eight Provinces.
In Lusaka the PF lost 45,948 whilst the UPND sore high with 58,781 whilst the MMD dwindled by 121,716 votes.
In Central Province, the PF lost 10,428 votes, the UPND gained 21,014 votes whilst the MMD miserably dwindled by 106,680 votes.
In Northern Province, the PF was highly rejected amongst all the other Provinces.
The PF suffered the worst loss of votes amounting to 90,995 votes whilst the UPND gained by 25,792 votes with the MMD recording a continuous dwindling loss of 119,228 votes.
Then in Luapula the PF lost 70,533 votes whilst the UPND gained 8,735 votes when the MMD suffered another loss of 45,306 votes.
Copperbelt gave an emphatic wholesome pungent rejection of the PF whereby the PF lost 139,653 votes when the UPND gained 48,718 votes and the MMD continued its downward loss of votes accounting for 129,333.
Northwestern voters, PF lost 5,515 votes when the UPND gained 41,238 and the MMD still continued its losing streak with 86,415 votes lost.
Western Province, despite giving the Province the most expensive road and bridge development, the voters still rejected the PF, awarding the PF with a loss of 25,314 when the UPND gained with 40,498 votes and the MMD still lost 61,987 votes.
So, to imagine that the PF is assured of retaining the Presidency next year is burying one’s head in the sand.
The people of Zambia are having reduced confidence and trust in the PF.
The positive improvements that the opposition UPND has demonstrated, is a sure bet for even better performance against the PF in the time ahead.
The final verdict, however, remains in the custody of the voters.