Chris Zumani Zimba, Political Scientist, Author, PhD Scholar, Lecturer, Researcher and Consultant
This article does not refer to the 16 local government bye election results of 25th April, 2018 as the electorates were not voting for presidential candidates in Lungu, HH, CK, HK or Fred M’membe but their own local leaders as councilors. In this expose, I just decided to do what I have already done for Fred, M’membe, HH or CK by focusing of his political strength as opposed to weaknesses and professionally give my expert assessment and political analysis on why and how President Lungu could probably win and return power in 2021.
The fact that Lungu has a background of winning big political battles as a novice makes him more dangerous to defeat in 2021 if he is allowed to contest as he is now more institutionalized as a Republican President. Surviving the brutal Vice President in Guy Scot and the cartel team in 2015 to take over the PF presidency and consequently contesting and winning the Republican Presidency in the same year against veteran HH remains a strong testimony that he is a surviving soft lion. In 2016, he didn’t just narrowly defeat HH, but he also survived a historical and crucial presidential petition under the new Constitutional Court. As we speak in 2018, he is dangerously floating the presidential impeachment motion before parliament, fighting legal battles against Mike Mulongoti and the team on his inconsistent parentage and nationality as well as judiciary facing a deadly knock out last war on his 2021 candidature eligibility petition before the Constitutional Court. The moment he wins all his 2018 political and legal battles aforesaid, is moment the Zambian opposition must start crying for political mercy as Lungu and PF will be too tough and tall to beat in 2021 as the reigning and defending Real Madrid and CR7 of Zambian politics for the following reasons:
In 2021 if he is legally allowed to contest, Lungu will be enjoying the full privileges of incumbency as the sitting president. This will mean being the only presidential candidate who will use/abuse the public institutional machinery and resources at full length countrywide in all sectors. This will win him more poor members, voters and supporters and help him retain power in many ways. The opposition must never undermine his strength of presidential incumbency because it has the political and financial capacity to reach the most remote areas few politicians can reach with their own resources. Apart from cabinet ministries and government agencies at his disposal, Lungu is loaded with social cash transfer, the Esther Lungu Foundation or the Presidential Empowerment Fund for Marketeers that will add more political and campaign value to his side and win many new voters and sustain thousands of old members than any opposition candidate.
Many ‘PF Mukula Boys and Girls’ will put up a vicious campaign fight to defend power in Lungu: their fear of HH, CK, HK or Fred M’membe taking over will keep thousands of faithful PF members and supporters currently enjoying with Lungu to passionately campaign, sponsor, support and vote for EL. By virtue of many blunders they have committed, many ‘PF Mukula Boys and Girls’ will do everything possible to stop HH, CK or Fred M’membe to win the presidency. This political phobia will help Lungu to retain many PF members, supporters and voters as they will be passionately defending their jobs, contracts, material comfort, businesses or ‘avoid going to jail’ as their SG, Davies Mwila already warned them. This is an extra strength for Lungu as ‘CR7 and Real Madrid’ in PF will be playing rough politics to defend both UEFA and FIFA ONE titles in 2021.
In 2021, Lungu will be boosting and pointing at many key infrastructure developments in many provinces and districts as he campaigns in form of roads, hospitals, schools, universities, bridges, solar projects and hydro power stations among others. This means Lungu will have a big reloaded versions of ‘Selatubombeko’ and ‘Sontapo’ campaign slogans in 2021 that will still win more voters as no one will be courageous to insult his government in terms of the mountain of infrastructure developments that PF will birth and hatch across Zambia in the next presidential election year. Whatever happens, there many people who will vote Lungu in 2021 because of the evidence of infrastructure developments around them than voting for the opposition leaders whose strength will be mere campaign promises.
Lungu is now stinking wealthy with powerful rich party funders both locally and abroad: based on what transpired between 2015 and 2016, we now know that President Lungu accumulates more than K10 Million annually and may be the richest presidential candidate in 2021.As Republican President, rich EL has hundreds of reliable wealth funders for his campaigns and party management going into 2021 who will compete with financial donations and material to support to ‘Eagle One’- and the tycoon Chinese and Indians will be there too. This will make him financially the strongest politician to compete with in 2021 as Zambia will be baptized with campaign dollars, mukula kwachas and campaign gifts and materials everywhere like desert winds. In other words, rich Lungu and strongly funded PF are likely just ‘rain money and good gifts’ on Zambian voters countrywide and will have many poor hearts singing and dancing on their side. But does money buy power? Ask a hungry citizens and poor voters or RB and Donald Trump.
We all know that Lungu is a friend of vicious authoritarian presidents of the region such as DR Congo’s Joseph Kabila, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, Zimbabwe’ s crocodile Munangwagwa and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni among many others who are experienced at manipulating their citizens to win and remain in power. From pragmatic politics, it natural for Lungu to envy and learn from these authoritarian leaders on how to oppress and silence the opposition, manipulate citizens and stay in power. With such as his mentors or close friends, the opposition must not think that Lungu is considering to easily lose and leave power by 2021; he is dangerously scheming to win and remain politically on top like his close regional peers and they remain at his disposal to offer free technical, moral, political or financial support to him in the next national vote.
Lungu has all the state media and some private media houses at his disposal for national publicity and campaign communication every day. Curved under the waist of Dora Siliya’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Daily Mail, Times of Zambia, ZNBC Radio stations and TV channels are all Lungu’s campaign machineries and mainly feature PF folks daily and weekly for good headlines to win national hearts. In addition, Lungu and his PF ruling party have a well-structured and funded secretariat operating at full strength with provincial, district and constituency structures countrywide. This will also make Lungu too politically organized and strong to defeat going into 2021.
In conclusion, we now know that what makes Lungu politically deadly is constant uncertainty. This politician is institutionally and tactically dangerous as he is ever a living puzzle to the voters and his rivals. Lungu is a miracle phoenix who has consistently emerged alive from the furnace of fire and ashes covered on him; from the ruthless hands of Acting President Guy Scot and the cartel, the piercing presidential mouth of HH in 2015 and 2016 respectively and the presidential petition in 2016. And if Lungu once more becomes victorious against his presidential impeachment motion June 2018, parentage and nationality inquest in 2018 as well as the 2021 eligibility Constitutional Court petition, then his political rivals must become terribly worried and politically sick as this will wound him for a serious Spatan political fight in 2021 that may make it very difficult if not impossible for HH, CK or Fred M’membe alone to defeat and un-sit him. Thus, with all his known political weaknesses going into 2021, Lungu will be a seasoned political warrior, wealthy candidate, experienced incumbent president, regionally and globally connected and proven miracle man to compete with and defeat as the case of Real Madrid and CR7 in European club football.