Timely advise for HH and UPND ahead of 2016 elections

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HH addressing a rally in Mandevu

HH addressing a rally in Mandevu

By Elias Munshya

We make no error by stating, unequivocally, that Hakainde Hichilema was the big winner from the by-elections held in February. Things are looking pretty good for HH. The United Party for National Development (UPND) did exceptionally well. It is becoming eloquently clear that the winds of political fortune are gusting their way. For how long, though, will the UPND hold on to this political swelling? Additionally, what challenges or opportunities do the victories in Chililabombwe and in Katuba present to Zambia’s political landscape? We try to provide an analysis here.

There are many challenges that UPND will face after Katuba. However, in facing these challenges, they should never underestimate the political skills of Michael Chilufya Sata. With things as bad as they are for the Patriotic Front, President Sata still remains reasonably popular within his traditionally strong areas. These areas include urban areas and Luapula-Northern corridor. The UPND should not leave any stone unturned or become complacent. If they want to provide a real alternative to Sata they should be willing to confront him and his political abilities. They should take the fight right to Sata’s doorsteps. Last week, the PF won overwhelmingly in a Kitwe ward. This is further testimony to the fact that in spite of urban discontent with the PF, defeating it will not come on a silver platter in 2016.

The UPND’s other challenge concerns its bad performance in the Bemba-speaking areas. We have talked about this several times. In spite of having been on the political scene for such a long time – for almost two-decades – it is desolate that the UPND has not made any real progress with the Bemba-speaking vote in Northern or Luapula Provinces. This is a serious issue that the UPND should resolve. For once, HH should come up with a strategy that would resonate with the people of this Bemba-speaking world. We are satisfied that HH recognizes this and he has promised to travel to these places in the near future to hold meetings there. Doing so will be a step in the right direction. We do not believe that the UPND is anymore tribal than the PF. But they should come up with a more workable strategy to show that they are serious about issues affecting all Zambians regardless of tribe or class.

As such, more than just holding meetings in the Bemba-speaking areas, HH should begin attracting real opinion formers and political noisemakers that are well known in the Luapula-Northern corridor. It is quite concerning that to-date, HH and his UPND still do not have a politically influential Bemba within their ranks. If HH is to be a serious contender in 2016 he must deal with this anomaly. He could also learn something from Michael Sata. What made Sata president are not only the Bemba vote or the urban vote, but also the Lozi vote. Sata would not have won the 2011 elections had it not been for the Lozi vote. It was very significant. Sata crafted a message for Mongu. And the people of Mongu bought into it. HH should do better for the people of Mansa and Kasama.

For one thing, the issue of Chitimukulu is not a politically potent issue for HH to use in winning the Bemba vote. In fact, Sata continues to mess with the Chitimukulu issue because he knows that it is of no political consequence to him. Those who think that the Chitimukulu saga would sink Sata among Bemba-proper peoples either do not know history or having known history, they have chosen to ignore it completely. HH should be careful in the way he jumps on the Sosala saga. It is not big enough an issue to help him address the Northern-Luapula deficit. The Chitimukulu story should be situated within a particular context. It is a chieftaincy dispute that has to do with complicated family and royal quarrels that are confusing to everyone. Such disputes would not provide good-enough political ammunition for HH. Umuto wa lupwa tawitika. After Sata has quarreled with the Bemba royalists they will, in no time, make up and it will be business as usual. With that in mind, HH should be one step ahead and deal with issues that are truly concerning to the rural people of Luapula and Northern provinces: issues such as farming inputs and infrastructure development.

Opportunities abound for HH. With the win in a Chililabombwe ward, the people of the Copperbelt might have started to have another good look at him. It would be better for HH and his UPND to begin sending a popular message to the people of the Copperbelt and Lusaka. Urban voters will prove significant. Considering that much of Southern, Western, Northwestern and rural Copperbelt is warming up well to HH, he would need just a little more votes in the urban areas to win in 2016. But he must have a message for the urban areas. He should make his message simple. He should deal with bread and butter issues that are the most pressing in Lusaka and the Copperbelt. With a slight uptick along the line of rail, HH would be the candidate to watch in 2016.

HH also now has the opportunity to set the agenda for the opposition parties. He is in a position to negotiate for a prominent place within the opposition gala. He has the break to shape how the opposition will take on the don’t kubeba machinery come 2016. For sure, HH should not be afraid to try and foster an alliance with either Nevers Mumba or even Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM). If he continues on the same path of popularity, we see no reason why either of these gentlemen would be reluctant to align with him. Regardless of how one looks at it, an opposition alliance led by Hakainde Hichilema and deputised by Nevers Mumba or GBM will beat the Patriotic “Kaloba” Front very easily. But the question remains: is HH ready to use the newly found political capital to foster this alliance?

Nevers Mumba’s Movement for Multiparty Democracy is dead. In fact, it died before Nevers took over. It died a long time ago. It was only perpetuated by the little power in had as a ruling party during Mwanawasa’s tenure. Bo Mumba inherited a damaged brand and there is very little he can do to resuscitate it. The MMD as it stands now, will not win any seat in the 2016 elections. And this is not due to Mumba’s fault or any of the current leaders’. The demise of the MMD was consummated in 2001 by the very people who were influential in its founding in 1991. By their political engineering, both MMD long-time Secretary Michael Sata and his boss president Chiluba sowed the seeds of the demise of the MMD long before Mumba took over. While there is still some time left, it would be wise for Mumba to face reality and ask his colleagues to have the MMD form an alliance with the UPND with Nevers as the secondary partner of that alliance.

If there is anything we can learn from Katuba as we sprint towards 2016, it is the fact the UPND is on the rise, the MMD is dying and President Sata remains somewhat well-liked in his traditional areas. Will Hakainde Hichilema use this newly founded political capital to his advantage in the coming months? We will all watch and see.

For now, aleisa aleisa.

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27 Responses to Timely advise for HH and UPND ahead of 2016 elections

  1. the realit is pf will win 2016 elections seconded by mmd and upnd third or fourth. only pipo in bre can thnk chip like u. hh is a sadist and will die an ambitious man. let him spend now and regret like rb.

    Richards
    March 18, 2014 at 6:29 pm
    Reply

    • Richards keep on dreaming .2016 will be a complitly new ball game my dear.The massege is cleary writen on the wall .

      Sido Mark
      March 19, 2014 at 1:37 pm
      Reply

  2. Believ me HH is still far from wining the presidenc & this time he will lose two or more seats in southern province. Remember civil servants are not complaining the infrustructure like roads,clinics and schools cant be ignored not forgeting new districts

    Baba
    March 18, 2014 at 7:14 pm
    Reply

    • Yes you are right my bro we need dreamers like you. You will believe you are in dreamland after elections of 2016. Wait and watch.

      Lasi
      March 21, 2014 at 5:52 am
      Reply

  3. These are the many useless articles which inflate HH and UPND ego and stubborness.If one wants to perpetuate tribal politics,then vote for HH.It will be moving from Pathetic PF Bemba Politics to Tonga UPND vegency Politics.The outcome may even be worse.I’ve overheard some Tongas say:Kwangila ng’ombe ku State House and Kolwe is out.Pipo of Zambia be warry of tribal politics.

    Sir Nyambe
    March 18, 2014 at 8:00 pm
    Reply

    • We are worry about Zambian politics that’s why we want to get rid of PF.PF tribalism is clearly visible and provable. For other Parties its only speculations were are hearing and reading that they are tribal.

      Mwansa
      March 19, 2014 at 3:31 am
      Reply

    • we need people like you who can make noise so that people can notice where you are even if you are talking rubbish as long as your voice is heard.

      Lasi
      March 21, 2014 at 5:56 am
      Reply

  4. HH will make it in 2016:

    Jayjay
    March 18, 2014 at 8:59 pm
    Reply

  5. You have missed the point on the ward in Chililabombwe. people voted for the person and not UPND as a party.

    Resident
    March 19, 2014 at 6:05 am
    Reply

    • You are very correct. In Chililabombwe it was the person they voted for, not UPND as a party!

      Bashi Lubemba
      March 19, 2014 at 7:48 am
      Reply

      • But that is the point the writer is making. Identify the right people, arm them with the right message and field them in election and that is it.

        Bob
        March 20, 2014 at 9:26 am
        Reply

    • if Zambians can be motivated to vote for individuals instead of Party then PF could not have ended up with a bunch of ‘ useless ‘ MPS. It looks like a popular Party can win even when they field a frog.

      the psychiatrist
      March 19, 2014 at 12:00 pm
      Reply

  6. pf is the most tribal government in history of zambia. the worst is yet to come in terms of the economy bcos of their tribal policies.

    sydney libbohole
    March 19, 2014 at 6:26 am
    Reply

  7. Spot on. All true. Sir Nyambe, Baba are Patriotic “Kaloba” Front cadres with heads burried in the donchi kubeba sand. Dont worry about them. Theres a big revolution that has just began. Zambians are clever now.

    Nox
    March 19, 2014 at 7:50 am
    Reply

  8. This is a very well researched article. I see HH is strongly gaining an upper hand at the expense of MMD. However the people are still Judging the PF with what it promised people. The issue of Garvanance currently prevailing in PF can be a week point to capitalize by HH.

    Sata Of kasama
    March 19, 2014 at 8:04 am
    Reply

  9. very good and sound analysis..HH take the mantle of authority!!! spread your wings ..

    pompwe
    March 19, 2014 at 9:08 am
    Reply

  10. Yes because of bembas being so tribal but clever by denying it in our faces as they are doing it, upnd must find a way of having bembas buy into their party. it is difficult to win without buying bembas in somehow especially now that lozis have appathy with anything to do with zambia. bemba men like marrying tonga women and tonga men like marrying bemba women. from this there is a trick to be copied into politics for hh.

    George
    March 19, 2014 at 11:08 am
    Reply

  11. catherine and Esther phiris never insult their opnents yet they always win. ALL THE PENS ARE MEANT FOR WRITING BUT NOT EVERY PEN CAN WRITE

    babankuru
    March 19, 2014 at 1:15 pm
    Reply

  12. Tribal balancing is key thoungh what we saw in 2011 was slightly diferent PF won because of youths who do not value tribe.most yuoths like us president obama are mixed tribes and tribe does not matter.Economic development will be the major issue.so i see HH becoming strong if he position himselfs to capture more youths and do some tribal balancing at the top so all tribes will have nothing to worry.At the moment HH poses that most danger to PF and dull tribelist who think we can eat tribe and not policies.

    Sido Mark
    March 19, 2014 at 1:47 pm
    Reply

  13. What a stupid analysis here, the february can not be yours basis the general elections. Anyway, that’s yours foolish opinion because they say day dreaming is free. Hakainde can never win an election unless a parliamentary one in southern province, Hakainde is full of himself, he is not a leader, if anything he has reached his political expirely date. He has lost election three times and Nawakwi is making more sense than Hakainde. He does not like other tribes such that he can not work with anyone. Stop day dreaming, even if we are to put Hon Miles Sampa as a presidential candidate, he can beat Hakainde 100%.

    Mr Hamiyanze
    March 19, 2014 at 2:32 pm
    Reply

    • Dream on. Its too late, people have already made up there minds. Its HH my friend, the earlier you accept the better

      jd jakes
      March 19, 2014 at 3:22 pm
      Reply

      • HH will not win the elections in 2016 for the simple reason that he is not taking advantage of the PF failures. His voice is archaic -rarely engages people and makes people feel a sense of belonging to him, his strategies childish and his cadres reactive.

        Icalo
        March 20, 2014 at 7:59 am
        Reply

  14. Thanks Elias Munshya for your Article in the tittle of “Timely advise for HH and UPND ahead of 2016 elections” however Katuba can never be used as a good yard stick for measuring UPND performance, looking at the “Bantu batotwe” way of thinking is diffirent from northerners & luapulans who are independent in thinking. Northerners & luapulans analyse issues while the later follow commands from the tribe mates/chiefs, without analysing issues. What HH did was to capitalise on the mindset of the people who he knows very well that there are tribalistic in nature, without realising that he his sowing a bad seed in northern & luapula. The northerners & luapulans are waiting for HH for the tribal remarks he used during the Katuba by-elections, and believe me, HH will pay in the long run. Remember the Mazoka issue, northerners & Luapulans supported him alot but Sata got nothing. What followed thereafter, northerners & Luapulans had to hit back. Therefore, using Katuba is a very wrong analyisis/judgement. Come 2016 the day will speak for itself.

    Alex Chitente
    March 20, 2014 at 12:55 pm
    Reply

    • comorade Chitente Alex I am disappointed by the way you think. Anyhow keep on thinking like that it is fine but the truth is that you are in dreamland.Thank you Take a Tonga to luapula if they will vote for Him. Just mention UPND no body will listen to you. in Zambia my friend whether you like it or not the voting pattern is regional.So Do not blame anyone.

      Lasi
      March 21, 2014 at 6:03 am
      Reply

  15. Munshya: you are in the wrong about upnd SNF hh. They have scanty following in Zambia. Sorry.

    2201, Kalanga Street
    March 22, 2014 at 3:30 pm
    Reply

  16. The substute to PF is UPND so since PF are liars …We have no choice !

    Ancestors in PF-Govt !!
    March 22, 2014 at 8:48 pm
    Reply

  17. HH don’t be cheated like they did to Lupiya Banda,just continue working hard, we will vote for you in 2026.For 2016, its none start bro forget, just look after your money properly.

    Nazo
    March 23, 2014 at 4:23 am
    Reply

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