UPND Will lose the 2026 Elections- Damone Siulapwa

Daimone Siulapwa

THE VOICE OPINION; UPND Will lose the 2026 Elections

By Daimone Siulapwa

President Hakainde Hichilema and his UPND new dawn government should begin to realize that they are living on borrowed time. The earlier they do that the better for them because voters are clearly disenchanted.

There is generally economic decline in the country and the cost of living has gone up despite the interventions the New Dawn government has put up to mitigate matters. Business opportunities that were there doing the PF reign have vanished in thin air and it is difficult to fathom why this is so.

Even the cost of borrowing has upped as the Bank of Zambia has increased the Monitoring Policy Ration (MPR) by 25 basis points from 9.25 % to 9.50% meaning if one has a loan, they either have to negotiate for an extended tenure or pay more in instalments. Added to this is the ever increasing cost of fuel and electricity tariffs which have left masses in a state of despair.

As if this is not enough, the UPND government has stifled farmers – choking them to the brink of death. The UPND has stopped the issuance of export permits for agriculture produce like maize and soya and it has also put in place rigidities that are impeding the smooth transportation of agro produce by local buyers such as millers.

President Hichilema and his new dawn government seem not to realize that the agriculture sector is the country’s biggest employer and thus when it is impacted negatively, the greater population is suffers.

The more strategic opposition parties like the PF are already leveraging on this lapse by the UPND government who seem to have an uncoordinated media team. Further, the increasingly sophisticated electorates have left the ruling party increasingly susceptible to election defeat in 2026.

The UPND must learn from the PF that despite the rise of more sophisticated strategies of election rigging and censorship, elections can still be lost. Even in places where governments remain undefeated, such as Namibia and South Africa, the gap between the ruling party and the opposition has narrowed considerably.

The message for the ruling party is clear: perform poorly in the context of economic decline, and you are operating on borrowed time.

The success of the opposition will likely be driven by the coalescence of a number of factors including the failure by the UPND to lower the cost of living and their failure to take care of their disgruntled foot soldiers.

Additionally, the UPND ought to realize that most of the people who voted for them in the 2021 polls were swing voters who are not apolitical per se. The country now has increasingly well-educated electorates with considerable experience of multiparty politics and it is these that are increasingly frustrated with the poorly performing UPND government.

While support for the UPND government still remains robust, satisfaction with how democracy and the economy is performing has declined, and there is still a growing recognition of the impact of corruption on public services and the lives of citizens. Furthermore, nepotism and tribalism is still at bay.

In comparison to the PF, there are falling levels of business opportunities during the UPND reign and this has led to eroded savings giving rise to increased prices which are causing real pain for citizens.

Evidently, the UPND is having difficulties in sustaining living standards and it has given public criticism of corruption greater bite yet it has blown wind into the sails of opposition leaders.

Support for opposition PF is suddenly getting higher because citizens have started believing that the economy is badly managed by the UPND, they are less satisfied with public services, and they are appalled with the rising cost of living.

Evidently, the ruling party is underperforming – neither ethnicity, patrimonialism, nor clientelism will insulate the UPND government from an electoral defeat in 2026. So how can the UPND government respond?

The ruling party can insulate themselves against these trends in two main ways: maintaining legitimacy and increasing repression both of which they are not doing right now.

This raises the question of where legitimacy comes from. Legitimacy stems from responding adequately to popular expectations. It can be built up, like capital, by showing a track record of delivering what people value most.

But is the UPND doing that to the expectations of the people – NO! Indeed the UPND has brought about freedoms by ending caderism but just like citizens want to go about their lives unthreatened, they also want to be economically comfortable.

Alas the UPND government is not offering their population economic opportunities and affording them essential services while improving the economy so as to enjoy stronger legitimacy.

The UPND government has failed to establish a good record on the twin pillars of stability and economic well-being which they would have leveraged to draw down on their reserve of legitimacy when times are hard as will be the case in the next two years.

But the UPND government seem not inclined to move in this direction because they are too incompetent to do so and the sad reality is that there are high levels of opposition support now, particularly for the PF, which may lead to political change in 2026.

In other words, there may be a ‘reincarnation’ of the former ruling party PF in 2026 because the UPND has been swayed into grossly destabilizing the opposition and perceived dissenters through clientelism, patronage politics and extra-legal means, thereby undermining the provision of social justice.*


  1. Who is this joker? UPND is here for keeps. You are likely to die while UPND is still in power. The party is not a one man band like yours. Sweet dreams.

  2. Unbundling a debt trap is a daunting task as your fate is squarely in the hands of Creditors. I expected the writer to know this. Inspite of the debt shackle the new dawn government has scored above average. Please compare the period of 1992- 2006. Then life was really tough as wage freeze, laying off of employees, closures of some companies, inflation in excess of of 200%, a sustained devaluation of the local currency and high interest rates were the order of the day. The writer has deliberately chosen to ignore the fact that we are under a worse debt trap than the 1992. Even under these dire circumstances the UPND government has evidently made remarkable strides in CDF, free education , social cash transfers just to mention a few. This is significant because the main Competitor PF lamentably failed in these areas.That said the decision in 2026 is the preserve of the voter.

  3. The good thing about Internet is that it keeps a record.
    We shall remember you and yowa malicious speculation when the time comes. You do not represent anyone but yowa self in those clearly misguided remarks.

  4. UPND like any other political party can loose, but currently opposition is filling to leverage on issues that can make them popular and they are just not organized, so it will take a focused opposition to remove UPND

  5. Pure wishful thinking, even if UPND fails, PF cannot come and solve our problems, after all, PF is the genesis of all these problems that we are facing. We know that the clique of thieves is still determined to come back to power because their life line had been cut off, they have no other means of survival apart from stealing from the national treasury. We Zambians will never again allow thieves to pose as leaders and continue stealing our money.


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