PF central committee member Jean Kapata says the party will bounce back and eat into President Hakainde Hichilema’s winning one million votes.
Commenting on President Hichilema’s remarks that PF was a dead party, Kapata said the youths who voted for UPND would vote for PF in 2026 if the ruling party did not give them jobs.
“If he knows, we still have those 1.8 million votes, we are going to eat into his one million voters. Because the quarter of those who are in his one million votes are youths and those were promised a lot of things. As far as I am concerned, when the youths were voting, they were simply voting for the jobs they so needed. If he does not give them jobs by 2026, he and his party are gone. The PF will bounce back because it is the only formidable party at the moment and we still have a lot of good will out there. We still have a good number of members of parliament,” she said.
Kapata disclosed that the party had concluded the post-mortem of the August general elections and had submitted the report to its leader Edgar Chagwa Lungu.
She said the central committee of the party would look at the recommendations given by the team that was tasked to do the post-mortem after the by-elections.
“It is very important that we should rebrand. I can tell you that we are done with the post-mortem report of our party. We have submitted the report to his excellency the sixth president Edgar Chagwa Lungu. After the by-elections [we] will then call a meeting for the central committee to look at the recommendations that were done by the committee. Once those recommendations are done, the central committee will reflect on the recommendations, that’s if they agree with what the group wrote,” Kapata said.
When asked to comment on President Hichilema’s remarks that PF lost elections due to corruption and violence, Kapata said caderism had affected PF’s election performance but argued that the vice was now worse under UPND.
“Caderism yes, that we agree but it was not as bad as it is today. What we are seeing today is that the leaders themselves [in UPND] are not coming out strongly. Why are their cadres not listening to them? So, for me, I think it is in public, they can condemn caderism but underground they are telling people ‘go out there and make sure you beat them up’. That is what it is. Because you can’t have Ministers pronouncing, almost every week he talks about caderism and yet the violence still goes on,” said Kapata.
“You saw what happened in Petauke where honourable Given Lubinda’s car was smashed by the UPND. Yet the Ministers have been talking about telling the cadres not to be violent. For me, they just say it as cosmetic and then underground, they say ‘go and beat [them]’. I know that is what they are doing because if the Ministers tell the people not to be violent and they become violent, it simply means that it is a lawless party. They are supposed to listen to their leaders. How can cadres go to an extent of getting people’s shops, do you know what it takes to build a shop, let them give back the shops to the owners.”