Seasonal political parties


IN Tropical Africa, when you see mangoes and mushrooms on the streets, you know for sure the year has come to an end.
These are reliable pointers that never fail to herald a passing year and the emergence of a new one.
In politics, there is an interesting indicator of elections – reappearance of seasonal political parties whose genuineness and seriousness is highly questionable.
I won’t mention these briefcase political parties for fear their hugely unpopular leaders would sue this paper just to boost their political muscle.
However, apart from the ruling Patriotic Front (PF), United Party for National Development (UPND) and Forum for Democracy, Movememt for Multiparty Democracy(MMD) and Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD), the rest political clubs arrogantly announced as political parties fall in this category I will call SPPs (Seasonal Political Parties).
Since Zambia reverted to plural politics in the 1990s, the country saw a proliferation of political parties that were formed to live up to the country being a multi-party democracy.


There are currently more than 30 registered political parties in Zambia, out of which less than 10 are active.
Despite failure to command national following, these ‘briefcase’ SPPs can be noisy and bothersome.
When it suits them of their egos, their leaders can even come together to call for changes in the Constitution or any other political issue at hand.
While I am not being sarcastic, the leaders of these parties are power-hungry, publicity-seeking and lack maturity since their understanding of ‘opposition’ is to remove the incumbent and oppose the ruling party for the sake of opposing.
Of the more than 30 registered political parties in Zambia, few can prove membership beyond their founder’s office or home.
Therefore, these political parties should prove that they are really working for the interest of Zambia or risk a Bill being passed in Parliament for the country to limit the number of political parties to three.
Another glaring aspect of opposition in Zambia is the lack of patriotism that unites most political parties in civilised societies like Europe.
Lack of patriotism extends to the main opposition parties which, along with their political crutches, also lack concern for the country they claim to improve if voted into office.
Despite these visible shortcomings, some leaders of these SPPs are good at inciting the nation or a particular community to rise against the State by peddling hate propaganda and making divisive pronouncements.