Two PF officials from Matero Constituency have dragged their party Secretary General Davies Mwila to court seeking an order to declare the intra-party elections held last month, null and void.

These officials from Kapwepwe Ward 25 are complaining that there was massive rigging in the intra-party electoral process, to an extent that voters were drawn from illegal and unverified registers, a move that disadvantaged other contenders.

“The unorthodox activities alluded to were fraudulent and unfair, and as such, negatively affected the reliability of any purported results that have been disclosed. The election was supposed to be conducted on the basis of the branch registers, however, despite 29 branch registers having been verified, the Election Committee permitted five other branch registers to be included for purposes of election without being verified in a transparent manner,” Ward Chairman Charles Kabwe and Secretary Christopher Mumbi told the Lusaka High Court.

This may seem like a trivial matter because it involves a very small area of ward officials, but that is exactly what should concern the people of Zambia. The fact that there can be reports of electoral malpractice involving the ruling party’s national election committee at such a lower organ says a lot about the PF’s stance on democracy.

Just to be clear, we are not here to offer our opinion on the merits of the matter that has been lodged in the Lusaka High Court, our interest is strictly on the fact that two officials have sounded the alarm that unorthodox activities characterised the intra-party elections in Matero Constituency.

We have observed that the PF is always on top of the roof, preaching about democracy. They have condemned opposition political parties like the UPND for failing to hold intra-party elections. They claim that they are the most democratic political formation in the land because every now and then, they hold in-house processes of selecting party leaders.

Dear readers; the PF has reached a point where it has no moral right to talk about democracy. If we may ask, of what value is it to hold elections, which only go to aggrieve participants? How wise is it to call for elections where the winners are predetermined? Is that democracy? Isn’t that fooling oneself?

This is what is happening in the Patriotic Front. Members have been informed that the party is in the process of electing fresh office bearers and they are free to contest any position ahead of the general convention in 2020. But what has been happening? The top leadership already has a list of new office holders, which the Elections Committee is installing, under the guise of intra-party elections.

Look at what is happening among those who are contesting the chairmanship of Lusaka Province. State House and the Secretary General have a preferred candidate whom they want to install against the will of the people that will be governed by the named individual. It is the same thing that happened during the adoption process of the mayoral candidate. The majority of the party members wanted someone else, but the bosses in PF commanded otherwise. We wonder why the PF is even calling this installation process as “intra-party” election.

Let the people of Zambia think about the fact that the PF leadership is willing to spend money and time just to ensure that a desired ward chairman ‘wins’ an election. If that matters so much to the ruling party, what about the general election, which involves presidential candidates? Surely, the PF will kill if that is what it takes to retain power.

It is under these circumstances that we would like to remind the people that what we have in Zambia is not democracy. What we call elections are a criminal process through which those with financial influence and the strongest militia justify their hold to power. It is a process through which criminals justify their access to State resources.

As things stand today, the PF is not looking at means through which they can win the 2021 general elections, they are looking for latest techniques through which they can install a President against the will of the people of Zambia. Quite frankly, this is worse than autocracy, and at least under totalitarianism, citizens are not tortured by the illusion that they have any liberties on national matters.

It is said that a botched or fraudulent democracy is worse than dictatorship; the sad part for Zambia is that the Patriotic Front has given us both. The dictatorship of this regime has the icing of a botched, fraudulent democracy.