It has now become apparent that the ruling party is focused on one agenda only, which is to stay in power at all costs. So if you have been thinking that the Patriotic Front is just about to leave government, maybe it’s time to think again and adjust. We agree that the ruling party needs to go and it needs to go like yesterday; not because they have damaged the country, but more importantly because they can’t see the damage that they have caused to the country.
However, we need to be realistic and concede to the fact that removing PF will not be as easy as voting them out. We say this because PF remains a party with the most active think-tank. Despite their bad intentions, their propaganda wings and political strategists seem to be sharper with more ‘provocative’ ideas than their opposition rivals.
President Edgar Lungu and his Cabinet ministers know that if they let go of their authority, they will either be headed to prison or self imposed exile. Therefore they have employed the best crooks on the market to sell their rotten image ahead of 2021.
We like the observation made by Highvie Hamududu, even though the PNU leader has a soft spot for President Lungu. The former Bwengwa UPND member of parliament wondered why the ruling party is desperately begging people to elect them when they are already in power.
“There must be a difference between the conduct of a ruling party and an opposition party. But the PF have put their focus and energy on politicking and premature campaigns as if they are an opposition party proposing to get into government. Why are they still proposing to Zambians to elect them when they are already in office,” asked Hamududu.
Indeed, if it were a decent party, the PF would find satisfaction in the fact that they are working, as they claim. One would expect the ruling party to continue pointing at their achievements until 2021; the jobs they have created, the taxes they have removed and the fuel prices they have reduced; so that people can judge them based on that.
But instead, the PF has employed extreme desperate measures to impose their popularity on the people. They are now forcing citizens to love them. They don’t care about genuine unconditional love. It’s either you agree with them and get their gifts or disagree and get beaten.
Since last year, ministers have been touring various parts of the country, distributing bicycles, phones, money and clothes. They have been doing this in order to prepare a favourable reception for President Edgar Lungu who has launched the 2021 campaign. But the intrusion of their campaign into high schools this month has left us perplexed.
The PF has printed millions of campaign leaflets designed with President Lungu’s face on them and donated to primary and secondary schools to be used as exercise books. They have also printed and distributed branded calendars and all other school stationary you may think of. In essence, the PF is now bullying pupils into seeing President Lungu’s face every time they want to study. They are forcing teachers to be in love with the PF while expecting them to be nonpartisan.
This is really a selfish and inconsiderate move. Dragging pupils into this kind of politics is a clear sign that the PF doesn’t really care about the democracy being taught in schools. They are trying to brainwash pupils into thinking that there is only one political party in Zambia. The PF is hoping to make President Lungu popular among grade 12s who will be of voting age in three years time. But they are forgetting that if they lose the 2021 elections, the pupils who are in grade 8 now may not be allowed by the new government to carry these Lungu-branded campaign books to class.
Is this not a shortsighted selfish agenda? Why should people be forcibly reminded to vote for President Lungu in this brutal manner? These ministers who are busy distributing these materials need to think about the confusion they will cause when the opposition also starts donating branded desks and books to the same schools.
We condemn these donations in the strongest terms because being in power doesn’t give the PF ownership of these books. Government needs to realise that these are the same schools where children of opposition political parties, are getting educated. These donations are infringing on the rights of pupils whose religious doctrines, like the Watchtower, do not allow them to associate with politics in any way.
But of course, we have such a weak opposition that will not see all this. They think this is a petty issue. That is why we are telling those who think PF is about to be booted out that there is no one to boot them, otherwise Zambia would have a new leadership by now.
A watchful opposition would have observed that the PF are not only giving these materials to schools alone, nearby villagers who raise the ruling party symbol have all been washed green with PF books and calendars, while their maize fields remain brown because of lack of fertilizer. The PF are demonstrating that they have enough money to feed millions of starving villagers, but they would rather buy them stationary; and the opposition is ndwii.
From our point of view, and given the desperation exhibited so far, we can predict that President Lungu’s face is on its way to the Bank of Zambia for incorporation on the Kwacha. Soon we will see “EL” engraved on all government furniture, office paraphernalia and kitchen utensils at State institutions. Whatever you touch has to remind you of Lungu, the Great Leader!
But we would like to remind the PF that, these Lungu-branded campaign materials are exposing the President to all forms of malice and defamation. They are provoking citizens who don’t support PF to demean and ridicule the presidency.
We have seen a roll of Lungu-branded tissue circulating on social media; and the PF media team is very upset that someone could insult the president in that manner. Sadly, this is what you the PF have caused. You have yourselves to blame because it is hard to believe that you left out the tissue when branding your donations.
Our advise to PF is that they should ignore the tissue malice because if they force police to arrest the people circulating that, they will humiliate the Head of State even further when the court sits to hear how toilet paper defamed the President; because even the exercise books donated to pupils in some rural areas will eventually end up in the toilet, for the same purpose anyway.