By David Kapoma
Zambia has only seven (7) months to go before the country goes to the polls to elect new leaders at various levels of governance. According to the Electoral Commission of Zambia over 6.4 million registered voters are eagerly waiting to cast their votes on August 11th 2016. It is gratifying that the people of Zambian now know the date for elections as opposed to the past when the date was determined by the president.
I know and indeed many Zambians will agree with me that very soon politicians will humble themselves before the people soliciting for votes. They will kneel before us and promise all the sweet little nothings. I just love that moment when politicians do that. I will make sure this time around I take pictures of those I will be privileged to see kneeling down asking for votes. This is the only time when we see politicians becoming humble to the people. Mostly we actually get cheated by many of them as they look too humble to be crooks. Only when we give them power do we then see them for who they really are. They will soon see us to be very important. But one wonders what their motive is. Obviously they want power so that they can make more money for themselves, and as usual forget about us the ordinary people.
If anything I have noticed that politicians have already started apologising to the Zambian people for the different wrongs they have done. It seems as though politicians are the only ones with minds that never forget when they do wrong as there always comes a time when they apologise to the people. This is evidenced by the Patriotic Front Party’s Secretary General Davies Chama who recently apologised to the people who may have been injured by the party during their course of governance. He said he is just human and so is everyone in the PF. He added that the PF may have made mistakes unknowingly. This is just an introduction as more is yet to come from other political players as well.
In fact I like politicians for one thing; they know we forget very fast as Zambians. They actually understand us better than we even understand ourselves. They play on our minds as if they get inside our brains and press some buttons.
This election is going to be quiet unique as I suspect that we will be going for a re-run especially if ‘smaller’ political parties still insists they want to go alone and manage mobilise one thousand (1000) supporters across the country. With my suspicious mind I can predict that only about four (4) political parties will surely contest the next elections and make an impact. Let me say something about these four (4) parties;
1. FDD – Edith Nawakwi
The Iron lady has in the last few years put up vigorous campaigns across the country and discovered villages that most of us never knew existed such as Namushakende and Mugubudu. There is no doubt that she is very well spoken and in my view understands issues quiet well. She debates very well and always makes sense as she articulates issues. Nawakwi is definitely a sharp woman and sometimes a ‘bully’ and knows how to use are strengths.
The FDD president has gained much more popularity in the last few years and performed reasonably well in the 20th January 2015 Presidential by elections. She has made tremendous progress with her political party. As a political leader, she has managed to groom one young politician by the name of Antonia Mwanza who I believe most Zambians now know.
As she humbles herself in the next election, I am sure that she will want to use the fact that she is the only woman standing in the elections as her strength. One would automatically think that the women movement will render support to their fellow woman and ensure we have a female president, but the funny part of nature proves us wrong many times. It looks as though women in Zambia are not so good at supporting each other.
2. MMD – Dr. Nevers Sekwila Mumba
The man very well known around the world for his Victory Bible Church, the church he founded in the 90’s as a young man and later became one of the first Zambians to do live broadcasting for a church service. He is pretty sharp and intelligent in my view. Others refer to him as a great product in a wrong packaging. Nevers Mumba suffered a huge political blow when he got fired by Levy Mwanawasa as his vice president. As vice president at the time, Nevers Mumba may have under estimated the power of the media. The media did a fast one on him and made him lose the vice presidency. YES!!! It was the media that actually dented Nevers Mumba’s image. They successfully painted him black on the back, blue on the left side and Green on his right side, all this to just confuse those that believed in him. In my view Dr. Nevers Mumba’s front side still remains very White.
He is very well known for his classy lifestyle but not easily influenced by trend. Not everything passes when Nevers is involved. He is a leader that wants things done up to his standard. His house is organised in a way that very few manage his levels. Nevers Mumba has however got a lot of enemies both outside and within his own party at the moment. Many people within the MMD are still demanding his ‘blood’. I know him as a fighter and one that takes time to give up if at all it gets to that, otherwise Nevers will not just give up on something. Am sure if he had a chance to defend his vice Presidency back then, he would have done so at the time.
As a clergyman he will be looking for what should be his constituency, ‘the church’ to back him in the 2016 tripartite elections. He will equally be banking on the existing MMD structures to do the magic for him and deliver the vote. We will see how well ‘Zambia Shall be Served’ under Nevers Mumba.
3. PF – Edgar Lungu
Very smartly dressed; President Edgar Lungu has from nowhere identified his strength. ‘THE SWAG’, he is now known as the smartest among other presidential aspirants. He is full of surprises and does things you least expect from him. He is the man of the moment who never at any point looked like one who would ascend to presidency a few months before President Sata died. He came in power with a lot of controversy surrounding his adoption by the PF. I remember he looked very humble on national television with his hands held together.
He is very approachable when you look at him, am sure with a bit of beers he must even be more live but this can only be confirmed by those who know him at personal level. I must not forget to mention that President Lungu has done quiet some work with regards to road infrastructure especially in his home compound Chawama where you find bituminous and paved roads even in areas where cars never pass.
The PF and president Lungu will really have nothing much to talk about in the 2016 general election campaigns. It will not be the more money in people’s pockets this year. That story is well known by every Zambian and am sure the PF will not ride on that slogan. I imagine the PF will ride on the president’s new identity his ‘SWAG’ which some Zambians are now in love with. The PF cadres will shout ‘Ifintu ni Lungu’ and the president will appear with his designers blue suit with a blue hat positioned on the side and he will put up some teenage dances. To some extent that works for a Zambian voter. Meanwhile, all the PF will need is to identify President Edgar Lungu’s strengths and ride on them.
I am actually very sure that the President will even be more humble in this election than the previous one.
UPND – Hakainde Hichilema
One of Zambia’s richest entrepreneurs; HH will be standing for the fourth time as president after the disputed election in January 2015 when his party cried foul and accused PF of rigging. He has a very sharp mind and in my view capable of doing anything. He is one of the front runners in this year’s election. His engagement with Geoffrey Mwamba popularly known as GBM is seen by many people as a plus while others including some of his party members think otherwise.
The UPND will obviously continue with ‘Zambia forward’ Janza Kumbele. They will be hoping this slogan will this time around yield positive results and usher HH to plot one. However, the party has a tough time in this election as they need to deal with the tribal tag which I believe costed them the previous election.
Like other politicians Mr. Hichilema has been accused of stealing millions of kwacha during the privatisation in the 90’s when he acted along with other individuals in selling the government parastatals such as ZCCM. This argument to me is a non- starter as every individual has skeletons we always want to hide. The people of Zambia will have to judge HH based on the UPND’s agenda. To judge Mr. Hichilema based on his past activities would be very hash and unfair to him and the UPND.
I am also sure that Mr. Hichilema will like other politicians humble himself and kneel before the people of Zambia. But let me also mention that Mr. Hichilema is known for his gymnastics on stage as he demonstrated on many occasions especially in the 2011 General elections and also in the January 20th 2015 Presidential election. He is actually a good dancer who fell in love with Brian’s Nalikombweke song and am looking forward to more of his dances.
In Conclusion, I can only say that this year’s elections will be more interesting than ever before as they will be held under the new constitution with 50 percent plus one vote and the running mate clause among others. I can say am also looking forward to seeing which politician will make it with the 1000 supporters requirement and the grade 12 certificate requirement for both MP’s and Councillors among other. As I rest my case, I want to remind my fellow citizens that time for humbleness and apologies from politicians has come. Let us not be cheated this time around with humble faces that are only interested in our vote. We should put the candidates to test and choose the ones with good ideas that can prosper our country.
GOD BLESS ZAMBIA, GOD BLESS THE VOTER AND THE CANDIDATES IN THIS YEAR’S ELECTIONS.
ONE ZAMBIA, ONE NATION!!!