Bally has shunted UPND-Alliance partners!


The Mast

Bally has shunted alliance partners!

It seems the UPND-Alliance was a convenient pact that was not to hold together for long. Or it could be that others jumped providentially into a vessel that was destined to float without danger to the brighter destination. They had smelt victory. So why not join now than after they emerge triumphant? But it is also true to state that the UPND needed others to defeat the PF resoundingly. That killer punch wasn’t theirs alone. It was combo victory. Again we are reminded that in politics, after all, there are no permanent alliances; only permanent interests.

Today, Eastern Province Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) chairperson Jacob Mwanza says the UPND is slowly distancing itself from political parties that helped it form government.

“I am slowly observing that the tag of alliance is dying down, which is a worry and a big worry. So we need to work on this one as quickly as possible because it’s not good. We went into this thing together. We fought together because we never wanted those people who were there,” said Mwanza. “We tried to work with them but the moment they realised they had money, they had the muscle, they had the power, they started disregarding our party at that time and what was the result? It’s for all of us to see. We don’t want such things to happen. We should be into this thing together. The alliance should work for the benefit of all the people. We should all work together.”

Jacob could be right.

John F Kennedy once said, “Lofty words cannot construct an alliance or maintain it; only concrete deeds can do that.” We don’t seem to be seeing activism from the UPND-Alliance. Other members have gone quiet so much that one wonders whether they have silently dissolved their parties into the UPND!

It could be argued that the UPND wasn’t going to form government without the help of a loose alliance of some sort. No matter the malfeasance and, or misgovernance of the PF, the UPND needed a massive non-support group to turn against the then ruling party. Otherwise, the Patriotic Front would have remained in government. This is why it’s surprising today to note how the leadership has cunningly wiped out of its lips the UPND-Alliance government talk and replaced it with the new dawn. Under two years, the UPND Alliance ceased to exist! Alliance members today are shadows of themselves who can’t even stand on their own feet to point at anything the alliance has achieved. We haven’t seen anyone of them visiting party structures or reorganising, apart from UPND secretary general Batuke Imenda doing some party mobilisation. It seems Bally has used his boardroom wits to outdo them without a fight. At the same time alliance presidents are stuck

“in the alliance” of convenience not knowing what to do next and where to go! Further, come 2026, what song will the alliance partners sing on their campaign trails; for whatever has been achieved and not achieved is under the “new dawn government”! Bally has proved to be the Pavlov of Zambia. In effect the so-called

alliance partners have been shunted, totally silenced – if not annihilated. They can’t offer checks and balances to their own administration just as they have been kept at arms length to provide some semblance of advice. The few moments you see some leaders of the alliance it’s at isolated state functions to sip some drinks and partake of meals. Obviously, under the status quo Hakainde is the winner. He’s in full control.

Thucydides reminds that, “Now the only sure basis of an alliance is for each party to be equally afraid of the other.”

So has Hakainde impressed and shifted to himself supporters and sympathisers of his alliance partners? If not, how is he cultivating that swathe which brought him to power? Hakainde has, it seems, so far been shrewd to remove political attention – limelight – from his alliance partners but at what cost when his

mandate is up for renewal?

Henry Kissinger once said, “We cannot always assure the future of our friends; we have a better chance of assuring our future if we remember who our friends are.”

Time will tell!


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