When a plane is taking off, sometimes it struggles to stabilize and fly smoothly during the initial few minutes. And if the sky turbulences are heavy and prolong, this can create a sense of panic for many passengers. But for us regular plane users in the US, the occasional sky bumps and turbulences means nothing becoz our faith and confidence is always in the pilot or captain of the plane. Many Zambians know that, there is nothing scaring about passing through bumps on the road; it is a routine phase for many drivers and it doesn’t mean a possible deadly accident soon or later.

This is how Zambia’s President HH must be viewed for now; he is a licensed pilot who has just taken off with a huge Boeing flying up the blue skies facing heavy governance clouds, storms and turbulences such as a huge national debt, increasing cost of living, high unemployment, consistent fuel increments, lack of medicine in health facilities, high political tensions, ethnic divisions, regionalism, poverty, etc. It could be too premature and grossly unfair to mistrust and denounce a known licensed pilot as a risk captain merely because his plane is passing through the initial take off turbulences in Zambian skies when the plane is headed for a three days flight into Tokyo, Japan. Turbulences are normal for planes in the blue sky.

But will all the social economic challenges remain unresolved in the next four or five years? Is it factual and fair to call HH a failed president or political liar after 8 months when he was elected to govern for 5 years? Will HH fail to deliver all his promises during his five years mandate? What will his critics say when or if he delivers most of his campaign promises by 2025? What if the political and economic dynamics change to his favour in the next three or four years?

Assuming that HH will fail because political and economic conditions will remain negative throughout his five years term is both dangerous, wrong, inhuman, malicious and unpatriotic. So far, HH and UPND have proven to be gaining political popularity. Despite facing economic difficulties, many Zambians are overwhelmingly voting UPND including in Lusaka, Western, Southern, Eastern and Northern provinces in all the last local bye elections. Both HH and UPND’s political popularity is still high and growing among Zambians especially that PF wrongly assumes that many people are already tired or so disappointed with UPND and want them back in power today or tomorrow.

To think that Zambians only think between UPND and PF is equally self misdirection. For whatever reason, all the immediate past local bye elections are showing that the political landscape of Fred M’membe’s Socialist party has been clearly defined and emerged. In the April, 2022 bye elections, the Socialist party was consistently scoring second to UPND or top on many polling stations both in Western and Northern provinces while PF was persistently scoring third. In a bye election, it means all political parties featured known local people as their respective candidates.

Apart from true rebranding, PF has many bridges to cross before thinking of a comeback either in 2026 or 2031. The bridges range from the choice of a new party president at their 2022 general conference; the reaction of their key leaders and national membership to whoever will emerge party president; winning the hearts of Zambian voters again given the political trauma and victimization of citizens by cadres, the tag of lacking respect for civil servants and public institutions, the label of promoting street lawlessness and public disorder, as well as the perception of grossly looting and abusing public resources and so forth. These political bridges are real for PF.

Despite passionately transforming and vividly delivering in the road, health, education, social welfare, agriculture and legal sectors massively, PF and ECL were unanimously rejected out of power in 2021 with Lungu only winning in Eastern, Muchinga and Luapula while HH won in the remaining seven provinces. This is where HH and UPND must pray and work hard because Zambians have proven to be both vengeful and slippery when it comes to voting; the majority saw ECL as a good leader but they chose HH as their better Bally-political father.

Jonathan Musonda
USA, Los Angels


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