THAT the Patriotic Front (PF) is struggling financially is more than apparent.
It has been overshadowed by the polished quality, professional and expansive campaign the United Party for Development (UPND) has mounted.
What with the innumerable logistical problems that have bedeviled the campaign which started on a rather halting note and which still has to pick up. The acrimonious court challenges, parallel conferences and individual pique have not helped the party.
This is not what late President Michael Sata would have envisaged for his party. No doubt he must be turning in his grave. This could not have been the eventuality he envisaged for his party, which is now caught on the back foot.
We have no doubt that reflections on his mortality must have influenced his demand as a condition of his evacuation to UK for treatment for Edgar Lungu to return from Angola. It was only after he had returned that late in the night Mr. Sata was evacuated. He must have left comforted by the thought that arrangements were inLungu’s hand for any eventuality.
This was not to be. His wish was interred with him.
Not only was the party thrown into leadership disarray, but the very advantage of incumbency that Edgar Lungu would have enjoyed if President Sata’s plan had been adhered to has now evaporated.
The paucity of resources is telling. It is uncharacteristic for a Presidential candidate representing the ruling party to miss scheduled meetings because he has no transportation. If he had been Acting President this would not have been the case, he would have been entitled, like all incumbents, to the use of public transportation and resources.
The ruling party is now operating on the terms of an opposition party.
In normal circumstances this would have been a plus for our democracy, but like all parties in power which carry an automatic “public” opposition the PF will have to work twice as hard to gain attention and deliver a message to the populace in the remaining 20 days. This message has remained muted because of the logistic problems.
Sadly too the fragmentation and opportunism inherent in politics will also take a toll on the party as some members seek to jump ship for new prospects. This is to be expected. Opportunism is synonymous with politics.
Clearly Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) President Nevers Mumba does not feel disadvantaged by his equally halting start which he intends to use to his full advantage.
It is our hope that, given a level playing field, we can witness healthy contestation which should deliver to the country a leader that is not only dedicated but is truly the result of the wishes of the Zambian people.