By: Anthony Bwalya – UPND Member
I have to declare an interest from the onset: as a member of the United Party for National Development (UPND), my natural judgement informs me, on balance of the political mood in the nation; as well as on balance of all other available electoral data, any change of government in 2021 is most likely going to go the UPND way than any other opposition political party.
There are also indications, that it is possible for the biggest opposition political party to secure an outright victory against the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) because the injury caused by a corruption anchored leadership of the PF has hurt all of us, including the “13,000” mystery angels who secured the 50+1 for President Edgar Lungu and the PF in 2016.
So, it is fair to say, that in 2021, the PF will not be wrestling against the UPND. The PF will be up against a semblance of the 1991 and 2011 popular uprising motivated by the people’s owned desire to end politically motivated corruption, joblessness, poverty, correct personal taxation and public pension systems – both of which are hurting ordinary people, fixing the economy, a return to the rule of law and a total reclamation of our natural resources for the benefit of Zambians.
A people’s uprising is the strongest alliance ever.
But this is never a substitute for UNITY OF PURPOSE among and within the ranks of the opposition.
The opposition is the principal guardian and protector of the people’s collective interests, especially when faced with a wayward ruling regime such as the PF.
Thus, the purpose of any coming together by the opposition, should be for the primary objective of securing objective unanimity and agreement around the tone and general direction of public leadership in Zambia; as well as to tell the Zambian people that the opposition is firmly focussed on securing the national interest, ahead of partisan positions.
It, therefore, follows, that members of the opposition fraternity must resist the temptation of seeking to come together in an alliance for reasons of exerting and extracting political leverage; or indeed the drive to share high ranking political positions. If an alliance should be motivated by the foregoing, then we will have failed the Zambian people whose interests we are carrying on our shoulders.
The UPND is the opposition flagbearer in Zambian Politics at the moment. We must agree on this. BUT, this does not mean other opposition political parties are of no relevance or consequence.
Of course they are. And this is because we are all speaking for the liberation of our people against a self-absorbed PF regime.
But this is not the time for the opposition to be flexing political muscles at each other. We have to look at the realities of our fortunes as a people and recognise that we will all be damned if we play stupid and try to play Russian roulette with the lives of Zambians in the name of securing political advantages for our respective political parties ahead of 2021.
The 2021 general election does not belong to the opposition. It belongs to the Zambian people.
In terms of political advantage within the ranks of the opposition, the UPND has a very clear advantage and that is fact; and this advantage has been given to them by the Zambian people over several years of trusted, resilient, consistent and unflinching leadership.
But in order for this advantage to be meaningfully transformative in 2021, we need ALL other opposition political parties to stand with us without any conditions to it, except to deliver emancipation for our country.
Anything less than this, will play into the hands of the brutal PF regime and will potentially hand them the impetus to come charging at an indecisive, selfserving opposition arena and we will have betrayed our country and our people.
We cannot afford this.