In 2006 then opposition Patriotic Front president Michael Sata was well on his way to victory against late President Levy Mwanawasa until the country was woken up to the reality of some of the dodgy characters who had jumped opportunistically on the PF boat with only the sole purpose changing government. Individuals perceived to have plundered national resources were now rallying behind Sata to remove Mwanawasa and cleanse themselves of the corruption charges.
Seeing the opposition United Party for National Development welcome every imaginable disgruntled personality in their party gives one a similar feeling going into the August 11 general elections.
Naturally many acknowledge that politics is a game of numbers and seeing one’s preferred political party attract numbers is understandably soothing. But then one has to take stock what kind of people the UPND is attracting especially that their mantra has been that of change.
Does the kind of characters of all hues and cues jumping aboard the UPND signify a vote for change for anyone in the shoes of those that are daily vilifying the current order? Just take a critical scan at the so called Chainama cases going by their preferred venue for briefings being attracted to.
A quick scan gives you Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, Lupando Mwape, Guy Lyndon Scott, Bob Sichinga and now Nevers Mumba. But surely is this the direction the UPND is seeking to take the country should they be afforded the instruments of power? Scot and his sidekick Miles Sampa have routinely preached that they are running away from PF because it has been invaded by new comers but has not the UPND too been invaded by new comers? Take the case of Mumba for example whose MPs ditched him to join the UPND but now the former pastor has gone to join the UPND. People like Situmbeko Musokotwane, Geoffrey Lungwangwa, Elijah Muchima, Kabinga Pande, and Christopher Kalila among others fled from Mumba but the fallen pastor has had to join them.
So in essence with the UPND we risk cooking up the worst of every imaginable concoction comprising failed members of the MMD and rejects in the ruling PF with Obvious Mwaliteta infamously confessing that he only ditched the PF because he had no grade 12 certificate.
It is all too good to hold briefings almost on a daily basis with a feel good flavour but imagine the Zambian public will just lurch at whatever you are throwing at them is a tad too ambitious.
To borrow from the UPND favoured slogan izula bayangana (loosely translated it is getting full in their eyes). So we ask izula nachani? (What is it (UPND bus) getting full with?).
While the UPND is acknowledged as their greatest challenger in this year’s poll, it is very clear that the only change they espouse is changing of personalities and not a comprehensive haulage of the status quo.
Maybe the country is better off with a devil they are already wedded to than a bunch of opportunistic and egocentric individuals.
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