Edgar Lungu is today in a far worse position than Rupiah Banda was in before the 2011 elections.
The chances of Edgar winning the 2021elections are very, very low. His national popularity is extremely low.
Edgar is seen by many people as a joke, corrupt, incompetent, uncaring, dishonest and unreliable.
Even with his own party, the Patriotic Front, he doesn’t command much respect, trust and loyalty. Many people who were very instrumental in making him party leader no longer see him as fit to lead.
But of course, we shouldn’t forget that Edgar’s leadership was procured and secured through manipulation of processes. He still relies very much on manipulating things. But within the Patriotic Front it is starting to be difficult because on the opposite side are elements who manipulated things for Edgar to become president. Can he dribble past them so easily? It won’t be that easy.
But Edgar and his minions still think they can manipulate the national politics and elections and remain in power.
For all their differences, they will eventually all be united by the fear of the Patriotic Front being kicked out of power.
Nason Msoni is right when he says Edgar is “damaged goods”, but it is not right to conclude that “it is laughable to insinuate that the opposition could be afraid of such a product”.
The fear is not about Edgar’s popularity; it is about his propensity and capacity to manipulate the electoral process and keep himself in power.
Ask Emmanuel Chilubanama how far they went to make Edgar win the 2016 elections!
Today Edgar is openly denying the opposition the right to hold rallies and other meaningful meetings out of fear. He knows it is wrong but he is doing it. He is shamelessly using the police to frustrate opposition mobilisation efforts. Edgar is determined to remain in power at any or all costs.
Msoni says, “In essence, he is the most preferred candidate for ease of de-campaigning the PF. The myriad of his political failures speak for themselves and is good political capital to work with at the market place of what constitutes moribund and redundant politics.”
Msoni is missing the point. Edgar is not relying on popularity to win the 2021 elections. He is banking on his ability to manipulate the entire electoral process and rig the elections. He is counting on the police, the intelligence services to do his bidding. Edgar is also counting the Electoral Commission of Zambia to assist him win. Of course the courts have been packed with his people. This is what he is counting on!
Can Msoni dismiss all this as nothing?
Isn’t the police delivering to Edgar?
Isn’t the intelligence working to keep him in power?
Is the Electoral Commission of Zambia ready to take him on? Aren’t they all his people?
Are the courts not delivering to Edgar’s agenda?