PF’s political flame extinguished with Sata’ death

PF’s Political flame extinguished with Sata’s death
If you close your eyes in the penalty box of Zambia’s political field, you can picture that surreal evening 23 September, 2011 when PF late president Sata was treated like a rock star after defeating Rupiah Banda.
Satamania was running wild, but in 2014, the man who took over PF laced every political sentence with some variation of ‘Sata’s vision’ has committed political suicide. PF’s political life died in London (after the death of MCS) even though PF followers refused to acknowledge it. PF’s pursuit of a lifelong political dream that has taken a winding path from Sata, Guy Scott to Lungu should be over by this time next year when Zambians must trim their political rosters to choose the leader of the nation.
Unless your political party rhymes with Patriotic Foolish cadres, you saw the light long ago: PF is not good enough to be a political party in Zambia. With insurmountable problems (load shedding, devaluation of the Kwacha and clueless president), PF brings very little to the political field.
From his incoherent speeches, fear of addressing the nation to poor decision-making, present PF president of Zambia has never had the requisite skill set to play politics and lead the nation at the highest level. His dress suites and foreign trips are admirable, but there have been hurdles that many in PF ignored to discuss because, frankly, Lungu is genuinely a good human being, but his political and management skill sets for making good national decisions are below par.
There was a reason why PF won sparingly in 2014. PF had difficulty getting the message across in a relatively simplified Sata’ political playbook. Some PF used to be ‘Sata inner circle’ privately grumbled that the Mulungushi schemes were too pro Sampa for a pro-free for all style politics, but it was challenging for Lungu, whose medical condition necessitated a different type of politics. On the campaign field, he routinely made mistakes by failing to grasp simple economic concepts. The root of his problems has been that he can’t process information fast enough on the go and that’s why he shied away from the debates and shies away from press conferences.
Now, PF’s future with Zambians boils down to the 2016 elections against UPND. PF is competing with HH-GBM ticket for the first political job in voters’ high-nitrogen campaign mode. PF has been deteriorating since Lungu took over. I think Lungu has really worked very hard at that. (He’s worked at) sidelining people that stood by Sata when Sata was nobody. Lungu has been a lot more accurate at rewarding Banda’s people.
Somebody should dig up Sata’s political play book and get the truth out of the slow-talking Lungu’s mouth. If PF has made any improvements since 2011 nightmarish stint with the Zambian people, it’s been marginal at best. PF is still clueless when it comes to grasping the massive sufferings and economic damage load shedding has brought. PF still isn’t accurate at diagnosing Zambia’s problems. PF still can’t play the political game. The notion that Zambians should keep PF as a party of choice in 2016 is laughable.
Anyone who doesn’t choose another party other than PF should immediately be subjected to a VUIA (Voting Under the Influence of Alcohol) K1000 fine. Aren’t Zambian voters supposed to overcome such VUIA habits on Election Day? Any party can lead and change the country given a clear path. The supposed lure of re-electing PF is that Sata’s vision can fix our problems, even though the once high-energy Sata’s PF has offered little to a country poised to do better in Southern Africa.
PF never publicly supported Guy Scott as the interim president of the party and country. Lungu’s PF knew exactly what they were doing. It didn’t go unnoticed in the eyes of us educated Zambians who can read between the lines. Time and circumstance have changed the political landscape. PF is and will never be a threat to UPND since MMD is defunct. PF’s political canoe has sunk far much deeper since Lungu took over.
“You’re competing for the top political job in the country, but you don’t want to do things the right way,” said the used to be ‘Sata’s inner circle. Opportunities and political positions are never more important than political character and integrity.
PF was a solid party under Sata, won 2011 elections and offered practical policies and engaging street smart political insights. It’s time to sink the canoe. PF doesn’t belong to Zambia’s political field anymore. To re-elect PF in 2016 is to pledge allegiance to the path to ‘perpetual poverty’ with all the hardships that poverty produces.
By: Bwalya Mambepa,
Sociologist/Political Science PhD Candidate, South Africa.

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