By BENNIE MUNDANDO
INGENUOUSNESS, lack of logic and tribalism have been UPND’s reason for rejection by Zambians in the 20 years of its existence and I expect this trend to continue if the party does not change its tactics and refocus its efforts, a US-based Zambian political commentator, Irvin Mbanga, has charged.
Mr. Mbanga, who lives in Tonkawa-Oklahoma, told the Daily Nation at the weekend that if UPND was serious with what it was doing, it would have tested power a long time ago.
But he said because of failure to position itself as a serious contender to form Government, it had remained in the opposition doldrums to an extent of being beaten by the PF, a party which was formed much later.
He said so many excuses had been given by the party faithfuls as reasons for the party’s stuttering performances in elections ranging from rigging to violence but that while these could have played a part in its failure, the UPND had been engulfed in political ingenuousness and that this had rendered it politically impotent.
“In 2006 the party choose a none-party serving person, Hakainde Hichilema to take over the leadership of the party ahead of a serving party vice President Sakwiba Sikota on account that only a Tonga needed to take over from a deceased Tonga president, Anderson Mazoka. In the same year, they formed a desperation-centred alliance with FDD and UNIP that couldn’t be sustained after the elections even when their party ideologies were different.
“In 2010, they got in an alliance with the biggest opposition party at the time, the PF, but the alliance failed because they wanted their president to take the leadership even when it was apparent that they were the inferior or smaller of the two. We still remember how Mr. Hichilema called Guy Scott a stupid man white man yet in the 2016 elections, the same stupid white man’s wife was adopted by the UPND to contest the Lusaka central seat. Where is the consistency and morality?” Mr. Mbanga asked.
He said after the fall out with PF, the UPND seemed to be headed for victory even if it contested the 2011 without an alliance with another political but again, they goofed.
He said after the PF won the In 2011 elections, the UPND sided with former president Rupiah Banda but blindly ditched him in 2015 and called him all sorts of names after he supported the PF without realising that he was still a political factor and commanded a huge following across the country.
He said President Edgar Lungu’s victory in the 2015 presidential by-election was due to RB’s support and not because of popularity or resources because he had none as Dr. Scott had paralysed his campaigns by refusing to release the party resources.
“It really seems they are willing to tangle with anyone or anything as long as it may lead them to get into power but alas it is such insincerity that has been causing their rejection away from their usual strongholds.
“After the 2021 elections, Chishimba Kambwili and his NDC may just take their place as the second largest political party or take the helm of power from the current ruling party, the Party Front ahead of the UPND,” he said.