Justice Minister Given Lubinda’s message to his fellow politicians is very ironic. If there is anyone in this country who must preach against dishing out money in exchange for votes, it cannot be someone from the Patriotic Front. Honourable Lubinda’s message is hypocritical is speech and meaning.

LUBINDA: “This is the message that I have for you as a church but it’s a message that I also have for my fellow politicians. And I am talking to politicians across the political divide. You can’t go and sell yourself by injuring others. You can’t go and sell yourself by making people drunk. You can’t go and sell yourself by putting money in people ‘to say I’m giving you money for you to vote for me’ no. Let your message sell you.”

The Patriotic Front and its top officials like Honourable Lubinda have no moral right to talk about vote buying. The Patriotic Front is the number one culprit of vote buying. The reason why these ministers and their appointing authority have been perpetuating corruption is because they have been fundraising for campaigns. The reason why we are failing to meet our external debt obligations as a country is because government leaders have been diverting money to projects where they can get kickbacks.

The Patriotic Front has no message for the August 12 general election. They have nothing new to tell the people of Zambia, they have exhausted all the lies they could come up with. The only solution they have now is to dish out money. Their only plan for winning elections this year is vote buying. In fact, they have been buying people’s voters cards for whatever clandestine activities. This is the only campaign which is working for the party in power; this is the formula which has been winning them by-elections.

Look at the videos which have been circulating in the past months. Who has been dishing out money? It’s the PF, with the intention of winning the people’s votes. Recently, we even saw a video where the Lusaka Province Minister was dishing out huge volumes of money to Copperbelt residents and claiming the money was given by President Edgar Lungu. Why? Because this is the only strategy that the PF has remained with – vote buying.

So it is both hypocritical and annoying to hear someone in the position of Justice Minister saying politicians must not sell their messages by giving out money, when in fact that is what his political party has been doing all these years. Honourable Lubinda should direct his message to the Patriotic Front secretariat. If he is serious about what he is warning against, he must deliver his speech to the upcoming PF convention we see if he will be allowed to leave the gathering without getting a beating.

One other thing Honourable Lubinda must be reminded of is that there is no political party in Zambia that has money to buy voters, apart from the Patriotic Front. The state in which our country’s economy is in right now cannot allow any sensible person to waste money. There is expected to be very little spending among political parties, more so given the Covid-19 situation. It is expected that campaign spending will be measured. But this does not seem to affect the Patriotic Front because the party is desperate to win this year’s election at all costs.

Apart from dishing out money, the Patriotic Front is banking on violence. Where the population resists to convert or shows hostility towards the party in power, PF will deploy thugs to go and shed blood. The same way they thrive on vote-buying is the same way they survive through violence. Without violence and vote buying, the PF can win very few elections in this country.

So yes, we agree with the Justice Miinister that politicians should embrace peace, that politicians must not sell themselves by injuring others; they must not sell themselves by getting youths drunks and most importantly, politicians must not go out to sell themselves by giving away money in exchange for votes. The only unfortunate part is that the PF is the number one culprit of all these vices. In fact, we would not be very far from the truth if we said even Honourable Lubinda himself is expected to use vote-buying in order to retain his parliamentary seat. Without money he may not even be adopted.