In less than 48 hours, the people of Solwezi will be voting for a Member of Parliament (MP), to replace late Benny Tetamashimba who was local government minister.
The battle is between the MMD and opposition UPND which is being backed by another opposition the PF under their electoral pact. There are also two candidates who are not reasonably expected to make any impact.
While the opposition is not taking any chances and has been campaigning vigorously to the extent that UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has camped in the area, the MMD appear to be demotivated.
It seems the ruling party just wants to give the impression that they are defending the seat but they know they have lost it already.
When one compares the spirited fight the MMD put up in the Kasama central bye-election with the lukewarm campaign in Solwezi, one can note that something is amiss.
The party and republican president Rupiah Banda for example, he only went there on a Thursday afternoon and addressed two rallies and spoke on a local radio station. The next day he was out of that place and the next thing Solwezi residents heard was that the president was having dinner with Muamar Gadaffi in Libya. Not very inspiring to cadres.
We do not yet know what exactly President Banda and Gaddafi discussed but there are strong rumors that Gaddafi is recruiting President Banda to champion his United States of Africa Agenda. Gaddafi’s idea is vehemently opposed by presidents from Southern and Eastern Africa especially by Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni. Museveni is the incoming chair of the African Union, a title now held by Gaddafi. But it boggles the mind why RB and Gaddafi were joined by ‘warlike’ Idriss Derbie of Chad in that meeting.
But that is another topic to be explored later. We are talking about Solwezi.
George Kunda, the acting president is only going back to Solwezi today to ‘fatten the cow on market day’.
Does the acting president hope to undo in two days what HH has done in almost a month? Does Kunda know the extent of anger the people of North Western province harbour in regard to jobs in the mines?
Why does he think that HH is not moving from Solwezi from the time campaigns started and does he know the impact of physical presence to electorates in a rural set up like Solwezi?
It seems the MMD is content to campaign in the public media by issuing statements and counter statements. But does anyone believe what is published in government media? Even journalists who work for these same media don’t believe what they produce, that is if they even read them.
The only thing one can believe in the government controlled media are adverts.
In Solwezi, it appears that the MMD candidate Albert Chifita has been left to campaign for himself. a few MPs who hail from that area occasionally join in the campaign. But when they do so, they start stoning opposition leaders.
The information being received from that area indicate that the MMD is failing to hold impressive public rallies. You only hear of complaints that the party is distributing salt, sugar etc…
Solwezi central having been held by the MMD, one would have thought that they would defend it to the last drop of blood.
But so far, the MMD campaign has been chaotic, lifeless, uncoordinated and self-defeating.
The result on Friday morning will surely not be surprising to anyone with a functioning brain…