By Political Pundit
There is no doubt the Patriotic Front is in political chaos. Many a person believes the problems facing the PF follow the death of its founder, Michael Chilufya Sata. It is against this backdrop there is this ruse the problems are characteristic of an unexpected hiccup and will, therefore, melt with time. Far from it! The problems are deeper than observed. Let’s start from the beginning.
THE PASTPF was engineered by Sata and grew momentum and traction over a period of ten years. He rode to power on the back of a veiled reputation as an action man. Given dire straits Zambians have gone through, he won hearts of the deprived. As leadership prospects became clearer after every election, he attracted all sorts of characters, mostly from the streets: Charlatans, thieves, the unemployed, fraudsters, convicts and ex-convicts all joined Sata and they won the 2011 elections. Internal power struggle was synonymous with PF from as early as January 2012, when confidential information was released to the effect that Sata would not survive the year due to cancer. The cracks in PF opened drastically leading to various open camps fighting one another as individuals positioned themselves for succession. The rest is public knowledge as we saw suspension after suspension. In other words, PF started to collapse long before Sata died.
Edgar Lungu is a product of drink-mates and casino patrons. Like in secondary schools, heavy drinkers have a reputation of sobriety and ability to attract the most noisy and jubilant. The truth is that no one within the PF top echelon believes Lungu is the appropriate candidate for the PF. They are all aware of his frailties such as alcoholism and betting. It was the noise resonating mostly from chibuku devotees during the Golden Jubilee celebrations that dwarfed other voices and desires. Guy Scott, who held little ambition for the top job, is the only one who tried everything possible to stop Lungu’s candidature. He had little influence though because no one among the PF hijackers has had any reverence for Scott from the very beginning.
Given the high prospects that UPND would snap the opportunity (as the chances still remain high to this day), the focus within PF budged from choosing a leader to winning the elections at all cost. Lungu was, therefore, seen as a ‘take-me-home’ spare-wheel that had to be replaced once at destination. The reconciliation that took place is pasted by bubble-gum to the extent change of temperature will liquefy it any time. THE FUTUREThere are two scenarios. If by any chance Lungu wins the election on January 20, 2015, the internal struggles for real power within the PF will deepen. As a ‘take-me-home’ spare wheel, Lungu is expected to call for real party elections for the 2016 General Elections. This is the time Lungu will attempt to consolidate power away from his current allies. Individuals such as Jean Kapata have made up their mind PF should move away from Bemba domination, especially at the top. There will, therefore, be a lot of falling away, purging and destructive struggles within the party (leading to worsening economic conditions). There is also the most likely possibility PF will lose to UPND by some reasonable margin (In past four General elections, 59-67 percent voters have voted AGAINST the ruling party. The ruling party won three of the four elections on the back of split votes. Real opposition is UPND/MMD working together). A PF loss will mean the trashing of Lungu into the political dustbin immediately; his name fizzling faster than it came in. He will not even resist standing aside. PF itself will not even sustain its survival at the level of UNIP; most leaders will seek backdoor opportunities into other parties; including the Rainbow Party.CONCLUSIONThe Post editorials following the purging of Wynter Kabimba are very revealing because they have been consistent with the trending climate within the PF. The PF is a cosmetic political party that owes its existence and future to Michael Sata, its architect. That’s the reason all those campaigning are focused on the Sata cult figure. It’s a party born out of deception, was elected through deception, had its leader enjoy health under deception, has governed under deception, promoted a successor through deception and will die under deception. It’s the end of history for PF and if anyone doubts, ask Guy Scott, Wynter Kabimba, Sylvia Masebo, Emmanuel Chenda and even those attempting to keep it alive for opportunistic reasons. At what cost is this happening? There is growing poverty, misery, corruption, nepotism and tribalism around the country. Those affected have decided to turn to Hakainde Hichilema, defying all negative commentary from the likes of Elizabeth Molobeka and ‘Bishop Chomba’. The nation is evidently rallying behind him and we see a future for a United Zambia for the first time in history.