The ruling Patriotic Front has come to terms with the fact that it will not manage to fill the Heroes Stadium to the capacity due to diminishing popularity in Lusaka and other provinces, and has since cancelled the programme. PF sources say the decision was arrived at yesterday after intelligence information indicated that UPND rally in Kitwe may be two times bigger than the PF one in Lusaka..
“We have decided to cancel our planned mega rally after sensing the embarrassment which we are likely to suffer. We are fearing that the UPND rally will be bigger than ours and so people will think we have already lost. So if we can allow the UPND to hold theirs first the better. We are in a very crucial election, and any slightly mistake on our side, we are gone”, said the source.
Yesterday, the PF were contemplating to hire the Zambia Railways Passenger Train to ferry carders, but fearing being outnumbered by the UPND, the party has temporally suspended the programme to monitor the UPND rally in Kitwe closely.
Yesterday, Information Minister Chishimba Kambwili pleaded with the PF Secretary General Davis Chama to cancel the planned PF rally so that he can have time to monitor and assess the UPND popularity through the rally they are going to have in Kitwe. Mr Kambwili also told Chama that the PF cannot manage to fill the Hero Stadium as the party has badly lost popularity across the country following mass defections; otherwise the exercise will be a flop as it will be mainly attended by children who are interested in entertainment.
Other sources are reporting that the PF may change the venue to the Copperbelt to copy the UPND.
And due to uncertainty and divisions in the ruling party, the PF has circulated the following memo;
MAY 6, 2016.
Following the confirmation that Parliament will be dissolved on May 11, 2016 we wish to inform our members and the general public that the mega rally to launch our campaign for the 2016 General Election will not take place on May 14, 2016 at Heroes Stadium in Lusaka as earlier communicated.
Instead our Secretary General Mr Davies Chama will in due course announce the date and other details of the planned mega rally to launch our campaign.
Meanwhile, we urge all our members to continue implementing programmes and strategies to grow our party ahead of the forthcoming General Election.
We also urge members and all people of goodwill to pray for the success of this event.