PROVE now that you are above predatory capture and the vote will come your way, University of Zambia development studies lecturer Charity Musamba has told the PF and the UPND.

Dr Musamba says the 2021 elections are basically between the PF and UPND.

In a write-up titled ‘The 2021 general election in Zambia: who wins and who loses’, Dr Musamba said it was now common knowledge that the anticipated general elections would be one of the most contested and “hot” elections since the country reverted to multiparty politics in 1991.

“As expected of plurality-rule elections within single member constituencies/districts, this system has evolved into a two party-dominant electoral system. Put straightforwardly, the 2021 elections are basically between the PF and UPND. This is particularly the case with reference to contest for the presidential seat,” she stated. “And it is important to immediately suggest that only one and not both of these two can win the election at this level. A reflection on prospects of winning or losing this election draws attention to the following considerations: …both parties have to present a convincing case for possessing genuine ‘capabilities’ of transforming the country’s economic and financial situation.”

Dr Musamba stated that the traditional campaign messages of ‘we will reduce poverty’, ‘create employment’, and ‘bring water, roads’ and so on would have no place this time around.

“The masses now know that these ‘beautiful words’ if not matched by a ‘quarter’ of the required action and commitment mean nothing. So capability to transform Zambia is the message – ‘Show the capabilities and the vote will come’!” she stated. “Second, both parties need to demonstrate the strength to tackle the well-known ‘untouchable’ monster of weak leadership. It is now common talk on the street that in Zambia, no matter how good a leader is, if one lacks the life-taking courage to confront the ‘weakening’ or ‘destructive’ elements that always lie in wait for emergent regimes, Zambians must not expect to see any sustained and progressive change in their lives!”

Dr Musamba stated that there were vultures that sit and watch the game of elections play out, grip the successor and swiftly tilt their leadership to unproductive, non-developmental and “very particularistic interests”.

She stated that this had occurred at the expense of the “deal’ sealed by the electorate and contenders during the campaign processes.

“So, here the message is: ‘Prove it now that you are above predatory capture and the vote will come your way!’ Third, both parties must put at the centre of the table political skills of not only mending but smoothening the cleavages shaping social, cultural and political disunity in this country! Zambia has prided itself for keeping itself ‘intact’ amidst all kinds of national challenges,” she stated. “But it is essential to concede today that this sense has been fading away over time. Let us agree that for Zambia to progress, we need to be glued strongly by a common sense of pursuit, perseverance, sacrifice and more importantly, benefit. These virtues should be the hallmarks of the slogan ‘One Zambia, One Nation!’ Here, the simple and clear message is that: Unite us and the vote will come your way!”

Dr Musamba also stated that the deal to secure the vote for oneself as a contending political party should be on the punch line: “Servicing the people of Zambia first before self, my family and my friends!”

She stated that there was ample evidence drawing from all the past experiences that political competitors beg, cry and kneel for support before and during elections – more often than not with sterile pronouncements such as “for the service of the people”, “for the poor” and “for our country Zambia.”

“And let us also agree on this – barely is the announcement of the electoral outcomes finalised, do the Zambian people begin to see these messages toasted upside down or thrown in the opposite direction to leave room for the ‘real’ character of leadership! So if any party wants to obtain a glimpse of electoral success in 2021, show the people of Zambia how they truly come first before your self-interests!” stated Dr Musamba.


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