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Opposition ‘weak,’ scared of seeing Lungu’s face on the ballot paper on 12 August

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By Sunday Chilufya Chanda_

On 16th December 2018, a consortium of leading opposition political parties called an Alliance agreed to work together to stop President Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s 2021 candidature.

These included UPND’s Hakainde Hichilema, ADD leader Charles Milupi, then National Restoration Party leader Elias Chipimo, NDC President Dr Chishimba Kambwili, PeP’s Sean Tembo, late People’s Party leader Mike Mulongoti, late Republican Progressive Party leader James Lukuku, and representatives of New Labour Party and the People’s Alliance for Change.

We are glad to see that Opposition leaders with the gift of knowledge and understanding have seen through UPND’s politics of deceit and have seen left the Alliance.

UPND is still scared and panicking over President Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s name on the ballot box in 2021. The campaign by the Opposition to discredit and eventually stop President Lungu’s candidature, including telling lies about his eligibility and by appealing to the Patriotic Front (PF) Party to find an alternative candidate if it is to win 2021 is now in overdrive.

One does not have to be a genius to understand that the Opposition is not interested in PF winning the 2021 elections! This is an opposition that specializes in antonyms. For example, the Opposition calls PF Government’s infrastructure-led development as underdevelopment, and the roads connecting rural and urban areas as bad because they cannot eat roads.

Since the Opposition majors in antonyms, the opposites; what they are actually saying is that if the PF proceeds with President Lungu’s candidature, PF will not lose, but will win the 2021 elections.

The above is so because; when did the Opposition UPND and its surrogates become interested and supportive of ensuring PF’s assured electoral victory in 2021?

Why is the Opposition spending so much time and money to plant eligibility stories in the media to push this very agenda? If President Lungu is a weak candidate for 2021, why should the Opposition worry and panic, instead of celebrating?

If President Lungu is a weak candidate for 2021, why is the Opposition – having forsaken patriotism – busy discrediting Zambia’s image to the world by alleging rigging even before the elections could take place?

If President Lungu is a weak candidate for 2021, why is the Opposition in the habit of celebrating national misfortune and pandemics such as the negative effects of pandemics such as COVID-19 which has crippled economies across the globe including ours; they celebrated a national misfortune such as climate change, which led to:

(a) Poor rains in the 2018/2019 rainy season, resulting in significantly lower electricity generation and distribution (load shedding);

(b) Poor farm yields resulting in high food prices including of mealie meal, and

(c) The above, in additional to other external factors, combined to adversely affect Zambia’s economic performance – as it would to any country,

Perhaps, the real question is; why is the Opposition sacred and panicking about a President Lungu candidacy in 2021?

Here is why: President Lungu does not govern without a goal or as one who beating the air, to borrow from the Bible. His goal is the actualization of the 7NDP towards Vision 2030, that is, transforming Zambia into a “prosperous middle-income country by 2030”.

As a result, and sadly, Zambia has an Opposition that is bereft of credible policy alternatives besides them trying to paraphrase or repeat the same policies, programmes and projects already espoused in the 7NDP being implemented by the PF Government under President Lungu. Exposed by their lack of sound policy alternatives and their zero capacity for constructive criticism, they have specialized in practicing politics of character assassination as their backbone, instead of discussing substantive issues such as the impact of COVID-19 and Zambia’s Economic Recovery Programme.

This is an Opposition banking on deception, national misery and more adverse COVID-19, just to win an election.

President Lungu’s PF Government has been driving the national developmental agenda in line with the 7NDP five (05) strategic areas, namely:

a. Economic Diversification and Job Creation;

b. Poverty and Vulnerability Reduction;

c. Reducing Developmental Inequalities;

d. Enhancing Human Development; and,

e. Creating A Conducive Governance Environment for A Diversified and Inclusive Economy.

Therefore, besides what the PF Government is already implementing, the Opposition has failed to come up with anything concrete plans outside the abovementioned? If the Opposition has any concrete alternative plans outside what the PF Government is already implementing as highlighted above, what are those plans then?

The above explains why the Opposition in Zambia has resorted to antonyms, character assassination and lies!

An example would be a recently launched hollow UPND manifesto littered with cut and paste ideas from the Patriotic Front 2016-2021 election manifesto. We lead, while they follow.

As we approach the 12th August 2021 elections, President Lungu and the PF will not betray the confidence of the Zambian people.

Once again, we are making a passionate appeal to the Opposition to embrace issue-based politics and not cheap lies and antonyms. We are also asking them to be ready for President Lungu’s name on the ballot paper in 2021 now that the General Conference unanimously elected him as Party President and PF Presidential candidate. It is a no brainer that President will be the strongest contender in the next election.

The Author is Patriotic Front Media Director

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31