FORMER presidential affairs minister Freedom Sikazwe says people are still shocked that the Patriotic Front lost the general elections.
And Sikwaze says he is still trying to reflect on what went wrong because he doesn’t understand what hit PF in his constituency.
In an interview, Sikazwe said people in Mpulungu constituency were still wondering who voted for UPND.
“For us, we just have to accept that we lost and then we have to conduct a postmortem to see where we went wrong. That conclusion of arrogance does not have any meaning. We know of the arrogance and we have been there. In 1991, we knew what happened and you could tell that there was going to be a change of government and you could tell. In 2011, you could tell and everyone knew that MMD was going but this time all of you are shocked. Even you are shocked that PF lost. You saw the kind of celebration from the winning party,” he said.
“With PF, just on the pronouncement that President [Michael] Sata has won, I think you saw the celebration countrywide. When you compare the celebration of the UPND and the celebration that took place in 1991 when MMD won, celebrations were countrywide. What we are seeing now for the UPND, the celebrations are only coming from outside. So let us wait and see where this is taking us. When you go to my constituency in Mpulungu, everyone is asking to say ‘who voted and how can that be?’ ‘How did these people win?’ That is what is in Mpulungu. So let us wait and see. Let us wait for them to fulfill what they told the people. We wish them the best of luck.”
And Sikazwe said he was still reflecting on what went wrong, especially in his constituency.
“For me, the challenge I have is that I do not want to open a Pandora’s box for as long as people do not realize that the elections were not free and fair in some areas and just swim on the fact that UPND won. UPND won the elections just because the pronouncement was made. The results came out that UPND won and Edgar Lungu conceded defeat. However, to some of us, that is why for me personally, I have been quiet because I am trying to reflect on what went wrong especially speaking for my constituency. I do not know what hit us in my constituency. So that is why some of us do not want to talk and we have kept quiet trying to wait for the right time,” he said.
“So to think that there was arrogance in the PF, that is why we lost is wrong. It is not arrogance. What arrogance? Normally when you lose people will give excuses to say they have lost because of such. In a football team when they lose, they will say we lost because there was no Enock Mwepu and Patson Daka.”
Meanwhile, Sikazwe said he was not contemplating leaving the PF.
“On social media, if a person just goes quiet they assume you are leaving the party. No, I am not contemplating such a thing. I am PF and if PF goes, I go. But as long as PF is around, I am there so do not worry. That is the way to go and after losing like what happened to us, we have to sit down and see the way forward. The way forward is to rebrand the party. Others are making proposals that they want the new leadership, especially that the president has given direction that he is not going to take part. So really whether we like it or not, there will be a new leadership and it is that leadership that will prepare the party for the 2026 elections. We have no choice but to take that route,” said Sikazwe.