I have been reflecting over the results of the parliamentary by-election held yesterday for Mangango constituency in Kaoma and would like to share my thoughts on what the results mean:
1.MMD is dead and Dora was rights. UPND is now the main opposition party. MMD was getting not more than 10 votes in any polling stations and in some polling stations MMD got zero votes.
2. UPND is therefore should not consider forming a coalition with MMD. It will bring nothing to the table. This means that for 2016, MMD MPs who want to seek re-election have a better chance of being re-elected under UPND than MMD.
3.UPND should not take the defeat in Mangango with bitterness. The seat was not theirs but held by MMD. The results in fact show that the PF has more to worry about UPND. PF had all the state power and resources splashed over a small geographical area. Yet with all these resources, PF only beat UPND by about 400 votes. In a general election they would not have this luxury.
4.Sata is no longer a factor: In the recent Lukulu by-election, Sata campaigned but PF lost it to UPND. In Mangango, without Sata PF has won. The man to worry about is Wynter Kabimba. So opposition strategies should move from Sata and focus on Wynter. The opposition can in fact exploit the lift within the ruling party between Wynter and the Northern caucus. It is no secret that the northern caucus want Wynter out of the party, but as Secretary General of the PF he will have a dominant role in deciding who runs on the PF ticket (most likely himself). He will decide which PF officials come to the convention to elect or select the next PF presidential candidate, considering that Sata will most likely not manage to run in 2016.
5.UPND needs to reorganize: HH has been over-stretched. I believe 2016 is for UPND to lose. In my view HH at this stage should take the role of the noble statesman and leave contentious issues to be debated by his officials. As Niccolo Machiaveli advised, where a leader cannot inspired fear, he should at least be likeable. His role should be to articulate his vision for Zambia; offer to reach out to the excluded like the Bemba Royal Establishment; and focus on a one united Zambia. It means his officials have to take a prominent role of engaging with the masses. His MPs have been the most disappointing. The only ones who engage with the public are Gary Nkombo, Jonas Shakafuswa, Highvie Hamududu and Cornelius Mweetwa. The rest seem detached and living in a world of their own. UPDN also needs to re-organize its secretariat. New people who have joined like Besa Chimbaka and others need to be given a prominent role to play and have their voice head across the country continuously. I would also suggest that at this stage the party needs a youthful and energetic Secretary General. Winston Chibwe has done his part and must be respected and commended. But since the scenario has changed, UPND needs a strong character who can stand to the offensive attacks from the ruling PF who sense power might slip off their fingers. Surely Chibwe has done a good job and deserves to be promoted to a more senior position like Chairperson for International Affairs ( and he already has good relations with many donors and embassies).