THE purpose of an election is for the people to choose their leader. This cannot be done by any other form of popularity other than through the ballot box. No matter how popular a candidate thinks they are, the people still have to agree with you through the ballot.

We have seen in so many elections where a candidate thinks they are the most preferred on the ground, where a candidate thinks they are the most famous across the country, but when polls are called and people cast their votes, the outcome is different from what somebody expected. In the end, this breeds chaos.

Any candidate who goes to the polls thinking they have already won the election is making a very big mistake, and in fact, that in itself is undemocratic. We go to the polls so that the people can decide whom they want to rule. If elections were decided by how popular somebody is on Facebook or anywhere else, then we would not need elections at all. But Zambia is a country where everything is determined by the outcome of an election. This is why we need to warn those who are going in this election with too much confidence that they have already won.

When we look at the participants of this election, we find that the PF and the opposition United Party for National Development are likely to fall into this problem. Other competitors in this election seem to be leaving room for a possible defeat. But the PF and the UPND say ‘we have already won.’ This is not correct. You have not won until the people of Zambia say so. In the case of a dispute, you have not won until the courts of law declares so.

Mr Hakainde Hichilema has lost so many elections, but this is another election. It is possible that he can win and become Republican President of this country. Those who are competing in this election must prepare themselves for this possibility. There are some people who hate the United Party for National Development and its leadership.

Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu cannot imagine a life where Mr Hichilema is in State House and he becomes a defeated leader staying at home somewhere. But such is life and that is the essence of elections. It is up to the people of Zambia. If Zambians decide that the person they want is Mr Hakainde Hichilema and not Mr Lungu, that should be allowed to happen. Mr Hichilema should be allowed to go to State House and rule this country. And Mr Lungu must accept defeat and go home.

Nobody dies after losing an election. There is Rupiah Banda. Today he is a hero. He was defeated humiliatingly but he is actually a counselor today warning those who are going to be defeated in these elections to accept the situation. That is what democracy is all about.

On the other hand, there are so many wrongs and mistakes that Mr Edgar Lungu has committed while in office. All the bad things have been said about his leadership. We have called him corrupt, we have called him a dictator, we have called him visionless, we have called him heartless, we have called him a thief, we have called him a drunkard, but at the end of the day, everything bows down to this day, 12th August. If the people of Zambia decide that this is the president they still want regardless of all what has transpired in his five years plus, let it be. Everybody must be prepared for a possible Edgar Lungu victory. Everybody must be prepared that we can have another five years of Mr Lungu’s rule. It is possible. He has been elected before, twice. And those who elected him are Zambians.

If the majority of the people who will take part in this election give him the vote, then there is nothing that anyone can do about it. We have to all prepare for a possibility that Mr Lungu can still win this election. The question of whether he is no longer popular is no longer an issue. As long as the election results show that he is a winner, as long as an election petition goes to court and the court dictate or decides that Mr Lungu won the election, then there is nothing that we can do. Life will have to continue. This is the goodness and the badness of democracy.

Who knows, maybe little known Andyford Mayele Banda might carry the day. It is possible. He has been campaigning and he has been on the ground. If the people of Zambia find that he is the one who had the message, if the people of Zambia want PAC to be the party in power, no one should stop the will of the people.

All the competitors in this election have a chance to lead this country. The decision of who emerges victorious must be left to the will of the people. If it’s Dr M’membe they want, let it be. If it’s Mr Harry Kalaba, let it be, if it’s Kasonde Mwenda, let it be. If, it’s Mr Steve Nyirenda, so be it. We must all be prepared that the winner of this election might not be the person that we like. It might not be the person that we wish would be the next president. Let the losers lose with dignity and let this prevail. GOOD LUCK TO ALL.