The People’s Alliance for Change (PAC) was launched on 10th January 2016 at Hotel Intercontinental – Lusaka. Three years ago a new generation of likeminded politicians, with no political expediency and zero name recognition came together to form a political party based on a conviction that the time was right to overhaul our political leadership. This was seven months before the 2016 general election and under a new constitution that required Presidential candidates to validate at least 1,000 supporters from Zambia’s 10 provinces to qualify to stand. Many did not see us managing to gather the supporters under the new constitution since many other Presidential candidates had failed to organise only 200 supporters as per the old constitution in previous elections.

Many wondered where we got the courage to believe we could meet all the requirements including the exorbitant fee in less than 7 months to contest the 2016 Presidential elections. Three years down the road, we couldn’t be more right that our conviction and faith have kept us going. We are grateful to God for the opportunity he has given us to keep growing and be where we are in national politics. Many people, if asked whether they thought we would be here today would undoubtedly say no. Just like many people think we are outsiders again in 2021. Do we know what God has in store for us tomorrow? Ours is just to move with our faith since we know as in Matthew 19:26 that, “With God all things are possible”. This scriptural promise holds true as can be seen even through Felix Tshisekedi, an opposition candidate in the Democratic Republic of Congo who emerged victorious in the just ended elections. All things are possible.

Three years down the road, we keep mobilising with the size of our resources with faith that we will have the resources in time for 2021. We have also participated in a number of elections, which a handful of fewer than 5 political parties do. In the 2016 Presidential elections we surprised many by coming out 4th out of 9 political parties in our maiden attempt. We beat the so-called political heavy weights including the once ruling party UNIP. There was excitement but we knew it was for the moment. There was and there is still work ahead of us. Another election highlight was the 2018 Lusaka Mayoral elections where we put the same heavy weights on their toes and we came out third with our candidate Petersen Mukubesa Mundia. So we keep working and keep moving. We do our best and we live the rest to God.

Before we go any further, we take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us on this journey. We say thank you to our executive and staff for your sacrifices to grow PAC and share the vision with the masses. Our growing base is the only reason why we can pride ourselves that we are a fast growing political party. The media has been awesome thus far on this journey and we are grateful for your support despite the difficult political climate we are dealing with. Many families and friends would hesitate to encourage a group of people with no political background to take the political route. Hence, we would like to say thank you to our families and friends for not being hesitant and for accepting who we are and supporting us through and through. Our colleagues in the political arena- ruling or in opposition, we also say thank you and thanks for all the lessons. To the general public for the encouraging words, our well-wishers for their material support, our international friends and everyone who has stood by our side, we say thank you.

We believe this is the best opportunity looking at how much work we have put in to answer the question of whether PAC will be on the ballot in 2021 or not. There is some level of misinterpretation and wrong assumptions with our involvement with the alliance. Like we discussed in our article on coalitions, the alliance was not formed to prepare for 2021 or pick one candidate yet, but it was formed for the reason of putting pressure on all responsible persons to ensure that the much talked about reforms happen through the dialogue process. That was the basic principle. As a party we can’t stop other alliance members from discussing whether or not we should field one candidate but all we can do is speak for ourselves.

PAC will participate in an alliance with the people in the general elections come 12th August 2021. We will field in candidates from President, Parliamentarians, Mayors, Council Chairpersons and Councillors. However, we shall continue to cooperate with the alliance on matters of common interest. Like indicated in our earlier article, an alliance is not a guarantee of winning elections. This we can pick just from the just ended elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo where Felix Tshisekedi won the elections ahead of alliance candidate Martin Fayulu.

The People’s Alliance for Change (PAC) was formed with a view to bringing about a new generation of leaders. We cannot at the moment bundle ourselves behind one flag. We believe and know we have the massive potential to cause an upset in the 2021 elections. Our progress in 3 years from zero political background and zero name recognition can attest to this. We 100% believe that we will be a contender in the 2021 general elections and we shall keep pressing for that to happen. Like we have indicated we cannot stop our alliance associates from propping one candidate in 2021 but on our side, we are preparing to deliver real change in 2021.

We believe we have the obligation to present a huge constituency of our people with a totally new leadership. There is a huge demographic that believes that we must not just bring about any change but we must bring about the right change. As PAC, we believe we owe it to our supporters to be on the ballot as they yearn for a new generation of leaders. It is also important that we take it up from the 2016 Presidential elections, 2018 mayoral elections and many other elections and work hard in order to be excellent in the 2021 elections. It will also be strategically wrong to shut all programs in the hope of supporting one alliance candidate. I think there is a gap in our politics that needs to be filled- hence we keep growing.

Our fundamental principles to be called the People’s Alliance for Change (PAC) must be upheld. There is still an opportunity though to support one candidate against the PF probably in the rerun in the 2021 elections as we believe there is a huge chance there will not be a clear winner then. As for now on PAC’s side of things, TIIKOSESA 2021! Happy birthday to us!

(The author is president of People’s Alliance for Change (PAC))