By Sity Mwitu
There is an adage which goes like this; failure to plan in advance is actually planning to fail. Everyone knows that Zambians will be going to the polls in 2011. As the date draws nearer, panic is slowly creeping into the camp of the opposition political parties. Most of the existing and potential opposition political leaders think they have a chance in 2011, on one reason; they have terribly under rated RB. They have come to believe that RB is a weak link for the MMD to retain the Presidency in 2011. But RB is a trained economist and experienced Diplomat. But not all Diplomats are ordinary people as the Australian Julian Assange of Wikileaks has proved to the world. If during his Diplomat career our own RB was linked to the Office of the President, then the opposition political party leaders would be digging their own grave if they continued to underrate RB in the 2011 tripartite elections.
During his two year reign as President, RB has proved to every Zambian that he can be cunning and craft. His political opponents within and outside the MMD who had underrated him now know this fact too well. But the fragmented, arrogant, stubborn and difficult to unit opposition political party leaders seem not to know who their real enemy is between RB and the MMD. To them RB is MMD and MMD is RB, but RB in MMD is just a drop of water in the ocean. We should not forget that before his ascendency to the post of the Vice-President, RB was an outsider and alien to the MMD ideology, philosophy, culture and beliefs, but the MMD machinery managed to transform him into what he is today and now he is transforming the party to accomplish his mission in 2011. But the opposition political party leaders seem to be blind of this fact because when they sit down and begin to analyze RB’s two year reign as President, they see a lot of flaws in his leadership style which makes most of these political clowns to begin to aspire to take over from RB in 2011. But what they do not know is that RB through MMD had already started putting his house in order and had already formulated strong winning political strategies, which RB started implementing as far back as 2009 and these MMD political strategies have started showing positive results for 2011. As a result, it will be difficult for any single opposition political party leader in the likes of Michael Sata. Hakainde Hichilema, Charles Milupi, General Miyanda, Edith Nawakwi, Prof. Clive Chirwa to beat RB or indeed any man and woman of valour with an ambition to contest and win the Presidency in 2011. When you compare between the MMD Party and its machinery and any of these opposition political parties and their leaders, they have no chance in 2011. We should not forget that this was the same single opposition party that managed, with the help of the people, to remove the mighty and all powerful Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, “Wamuyaya” and his UNIP “Mulilo Waikatako Wapya” from government in 1991. And yet in 1991, the MMD compared to UNIP was like the fight between David and Goliath respectively. As a result, because it was the only sole and united opposition political party it won sympathy from the people who helped it to remove UNIP from power, but now in 2010, MMD has become a monster and it does not need the help of people to stay in power because MMD has become the people itself. It is high time this truth sunk into most of the opposition political leaders’ heads in order to dismantle every iota of pride, greed and selfishness for the purpose of presenting one united opposition presidential candidate if at all change is to come in 2011.
But blinded with pride, greed and selfishness, most of these opposition political parties and their leaders whenever they see RB and 2011 drawing nearer and nearer, they remember his tribal sentiments in Eastern Province, they remember how he tricked Western Province with a promise of the Vice-President, they remember how he has changed his ambition for Presidency from his promise of only to complete the late President Dr. Mwanawasa’s remaining three year term, to a serious appetite for the second term of office as President in 2011, they remember that most of the opposition political party leaders who campaigned for him in 2008 have turned against him because of his leadership style, they remember the campaign of terror he launched against those who were close to the late President Dr. Levy Patrick Mwanawasa and his legacy, they remember how he launched a man hunt for the Post Newspaper, they remember his invisible Presidential hand and its role in the acquittal of Dr. FTJ’ s corruption case and the refuse of the government to appeal when it was the state who in the first place took Dr. FTJ to court, they remember how the London court case against Dr. FTJ was thrown out or not registered in Zambia when it was our own government officials who made serious representation in the London courts of law that yield positive results and only to be denied the registration in the Zambian courts of law, they remember too well, the removal of abuse of authority clause from the Anti-graft law, they remember too well the saga surrounding ZAMTEL valuation contract and subsequent sale of ZAMTEL to Lap Green company of Libya, they remember RB’s tribal appointments to his Cabinet and Deputy Cabinet Ministers, they remember too well how he has managed to transform MMD into UNIP dictatorial tendencies, they remember too well how the MMD applied pressure on Mpombo’s friend who took him to court for bouncing a cheque, while Hon. Deputy Minister Lucy Changwe is still roaming the corridors of power, they remember too well the borrowing of loans by RB to finance infrastructure development in all the parts of the country, they remember too well how Mr. Magande was haunted out of MMD, they remember too well how MMD has been losing bye elections either an councillorship level or at MP level. They remember too well, RB’s deliberate effort to trash the Barotseland Agreement into the Bin of political oblivion. When they see RB’s flaws, they think RB deserves a red card in 2011.
When the existing and potential opposition political leaders sit down on top of Manda or Cemetery Hill and watch RB’s chances in 2011 general elections, everyone thinks they have a chance to beat him pants down in the general elections. As a result, Zambians have witnesses many clowns coming out of hiding and claiming to be presidential material in the 2011 general elections and it appears the circus has not yet reached the climax. Yet more political clowns’ faces are to be seen on the political stage. All I can say to Zambians is to enjoy the comedy put up by the opposition political party leaders on the political stage even as the MMD reign lasts. As a result, this has increased competition among opposition political leaders between serious contenders and pretenders. While the opposition market niche is being reduced as more opposition political parties are born, the MMD has started making some serious inroads in the areas that were once considered as opposition political parties strong holds and results will tell in 2011. It is therefore, wishful thinking and lack of foresight to imagine that a serious and potential Presidential candidate who wants to scoop the presidency in the 2011 tripartite election can register his political party today in 2010 amidst other opposition political parties and expect to win in 2011 even if people want change. The more oppositional Presidential candidates there will, the greater the chance that RB will retain his Presidency on minority rule whether people like it or not.
But because of RB’s many flaws and weaknesses, even the leaders of the PF-UPND Pact have been caught in this trap by starting to compete against each other and weighing their chances of being elected as opposed to their counterpart. This was a serious trap the Pact leaders failed to notice and fell for it and now it is choking them. As a result, each one of them has started claiming to be better suited to win the presidency in 2011than the other, but the political dice was already cast in 2009. It must be known that despite RB’s flaws or weaknesses, he is not fighting as an individual for his political survival to retain the presidency in 2011, but as MMD and its machinery in government. Even as the opposition political party leaders fight amongst themselves by splitting their won votes, they should know that there is no strong political party so spread across the country like the MMD and its machinery. On average the MMD is still found in every Province of Zambia as was indicated in the 2008 Presidential bye-election. How about the bye elections that the MMD have been losing of late? The MMD has been losing these bye elections because the major political force, that is the PF-UPND Pact that recently came on the political stage with political fire, has been working as a team gathering their members against the MMD and the results were seen, but now that the Pact has been neutralized, the effects will be noticed in 2011. As political observers and analyst, we must also notice that even when the MMD was losing these bye elections, their candidates were always coming second. This will be a major factor, given the confusion in the Pact and the mushrooming of so many opposition political parties, that will make the MMD have a 100% chance to retain the Presidency because of the greediness and selfishness of some of our opposition political leaders, who have resolved in their hearts not to be anything else apart from that of the presidency, thereby splitting their own political votes among themselves. This type of foolishness and greed will cost Zambia the opportunity of having real change for once. By the way the terms of foolish, coward, silly and servants I used in my previous article to describe the peoples of Southern, Western, North-western and Central Provinces respectively were not insults but words that actually describe either the state of the mind or attitude of a person.
Another factor that would make the MMD retain its Presidency in 2011 is how the MMD had already planned its political game. The MMD had already put its game plan in place as way back as 2009 when most of the opposition leaders were still complaining over stolen votes or rigged elections. Everyone knows that MMD is a Movement of Masters Dribblers and Political engineers and most of these are back in MMD with force that can be reckoned with. How did the dribbling and political engineering come about? It all started when the late President Dr. Levy Patrick Mwanawasa was single handedly picked to be the MMD Party President and consequently voted in as Republican President in 2001. After the demise of the late Anderson Mazoka and the consequent shrinking of the UPND national influence to that of Southern Province only, the MMD political dribblers and political engineers knew too well that PF was a serious threat to the MMD’s continuous reign in government given PF performance especially in the 2005 and 2008 Presidential and bye-elections respectively. They had to find a way to weaken PF and the strategy used by MMD Political Engineers was tribal and it worked well as we all now know the story of the famous 22 PF rebel MPs who fell victim without knowing what was going on around them and now they want to be on MMD ticket in the 2011 Tripartite elections. The other threat to the MMD government that arose unexpectedly was the formation of the PF-UPND Pact. The Pact proved to be a dangerous threat to the MMD. Therefore, they had to find a way of infiltrating the Pact and weaken it and neutralize its power, which they have managed to achieve. At one point the very VP confessed to the nation that he had insider information regarding the crumbling of the pact and we Zambians dismissed his assertions. When the pact crumbled, he again came out in the open and reminded us of what he had told us regarding the crumbling of the pact. The MMD political dribblers and political engineers now know too well that it will be impossible for PF –UPND Pact to materialize in order to be a force to reckon with in 2011 general elections. It will take God’s grace to heal the wounds of the Pact inflicted upon it by the MMD. The strategy used was on the difference in the manifestos, ideology and philosophy of these two parties. In this case tribe was not a major issue, but it also contributed to the failure of the pact in addition to education, age and integrity of the two political leaders.
Furthermore, the MMD political dribblers and political engineers knew too well that Zambians believe in seeing things. They know too well that the spirit of materialism had crippled this nation and that if they obtained loans to finance infrastructure in the country, Zambians would easily believe that the government is working. And it has worked for the MMD. RB is receiving Kudos from all walks of life across the nation. While as Zambians we welcome the development of infrastructure such as roads, clinics, hospitals and schools which are all financed by loans whether concessional or not, but whose repayment burden will be shouldered by our children already living in poverty, it is a shame to notice that government has came up with such a vicious ambitious programme of infrastructure development for political expediency when old and dilapidated infrastructure through the country cannot be rehabilitated. The non application of the 50+1% majority rule in 2011 is another strategy that will usher RB on minority rule and it does not need debate. The reduction of the Presidential nomination fee from K20 million to K10 million is another MMD strategy to further weaken the steaks of the disunited and fragmented opposition political party leaders. I want to believe that the killer punch to the opposition lies in the recent government programmes that were undertaken almost simultaneously. What I mean is the opposition political party leaders did not see anything strange for the MMD government to initiate Vote registration, undertaking of Census and issuance of NRCs almost at the same time. Is it possible given this vulnerable and risk situation that a possible ghost person was created, legally counted during census, issued with a genuine NRC and registered as a genuine voter and this ghost voter is ready for his or her mission in 2011? What were the leaders of the opposition political party leaders doing during this very critical period of the nation in laying the foundation or base for 2011 general elections? As usual, probably they were engulfed in their own pride, greedy and selfishness to fail to notice what was going on around them. Like I said above, it will take all the opposition political parties to merge in order to remove the MMD from power. MMD has become more power than the way UNIP was. The failure of the opposition political parties and their leaders to either merge or work together in order to remove the MMD in 2011, will give Zambians no option but to vote back the MMD in power by default. There is an adage which goes like this, the “Devil you know is better than the Devil you do not know”. Better to retain the MMD and its flaws by default than to put in power, just for the sake of change, any of the opposition political leaders who are exhibiting pride, greedy and selfishness by failing to work together as united opposition political parties for the purpose of removing the MMD from power in 2011 in order to create a better future for Zambians today.