HH, a privileged politician not seizing the opportunity to score and why he may still miss 2021

By Chris Zumani Zimba


HH, a privileged political leader of the moment

hh imageFrom the opposition point of view, Zambia’s Hakainde Hichilema (HH) is currently the most ‘dangerous’ opposition leader as he stands an equal chance to win in 2021 just like Lungu. This explains why the PF arsenals are always pointed at him every day. HH is the most privileged opposition leader and man of moment due to the following reasons:

  1. HH is the most likable presidential alternative having lost narrowly in 2015 and 2016;
  2. He is the leader of Zambia’s largest and most popular opposition political party
  3. HH’s UPND commands a strong representation in parliament with loyal MPs;
  4. He has consistently and ably contested all presidential elections since 2006;
  5. He is a younger generation politician, still energetic and blessed with good health;
  6. Many governance NGOs are ‘helping’ HH due to Zambia’s human rights issues now;
  7. HH is deemed wealthy with increasing media attention and endorsement  from the West;

HH, not seizing the current political opportunities:

  1. Zambia is facing a serious energy crisis that could sale a big opposition leader like HH;
  2. The economic hardships are worsening among Zambians with the cost of living hitting the sky on key basic commodities like mealie meal, cement, fuel, food, etc;
  3. But HH is failing to sale himself nationally as the most prepared political alternative for 2021 amidst all the current national ills- he is mainly speaking on Twitter or Facebook;
  4. HH today is far in a better position than Michael Sata in 2008-2011 but still failing to make a huge impact and clear political difference against President Lungu and PF; a
  5. Surprisingly, Hon Chishimba Kambwili with few supporters makes more controversial and big headlines than HH who has all political privileges and huge followership; and
  6. Today, very few people remember that HH was at some point arrested and detained at Maximum Prison-he fails to utilize such past ‘raw materials’ for his political popularity.

Why HH may still miss 2021 again

With all political opportunities on his side as the man of the moment, HH may still lose in 2021 if the status quo remains due to the following reasons:

  1. HH is not positioning himself with the winning a ‘national team’ because the majority of his handlers and media voices hail from his traditional strongholds;
  2. He is failing to practically reduce or undo the old tag of branding his UPND as a tribal and regional party;
  3.  HH is failing to navigate the political trap of being stopped to freely assemble with the masses as he is currently tied to the Public Order Act;
  4. He is not eating out into PF strongholds of Luapula, Northern, Muchinga, Copperbelt, Lusaka and Eastern provinces while PF is feasting in some of his strongholds;
  5. The strategy of branding/presenting Lungu and PF as the ‘worst corrupt government in the history of Zambia’ is not working as PF seem to be doing better in all bye elections;
  6. Despite the energy crisis or economic hardships Zambians are facing today, HH’s media messages/strategies are less appealing, visible and convincing to the masses.

Chris Zumani Zimba is a prolific Zambian Political Scientist, Policy Analyst, Author, Blogger, PhD Scholar, Researcher, Consultant, Public Health and Tobacco Control Advocate. So far, he has authored more than 10 political and academic books as well as published over 100 well researched articles. Chriszumanizimba.cz@gmail.com or chriszumanizimba@yahoo.com; +260 973 153 815 for calls or WhatsApp. This article is made possible by Centre for Multiple Democracies, Good Governance and Peace (MDGGP) under Chrizzima Democracy University (CDU). But the views are attributed to the author and not CDU. 

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