Edgar Lungu says people need to have confidence in the electoral system to avoid post-election disputes that have characterised the southern African countries.
And he has asked the United Kingdom and other cooperating partners for support to ensure that there is engagement of all political players way before the 2021 elections.
But what help does Edgar really want from the cooperating partners on this score?
He has consistently rejected such support and denounced it as interference in Zambia’s affairs!
By his own words, Edgar has been in the forefront of ensuring that the opposition doesn’t organise and mobilise public support by ordering the police to deny them permits to hold rallies and other meetings. He has set security agencies to harass and intimidate the opposition’s political work.
Edgar has turned the intelligence services and the police into his political agents whose main job is to thwart opposition political mobilisation work, especially in the areas he considers his strongholds.
What Edgar is doing is not only legally wrong but it is also morally unacceptable and falls outside the spirit of elections, is in violation of the principles of democracy.
What Zambians want is free, fair and peaceful elections and not show elections.
Manipulation of the electoral process can have the effect of very violent protests or corruption of democracy. In a narrow election, a small amount of electoral manipulation may be enough to change the result. Even if the outcome is not affected, these unfair electoral and political practices can reduce voters’ confidence in democracy.
There’s a very high level of political desperation on Edgar’s part. Fear of losing the 2021 elections and its consequences seem to be haunting him.
But these desperate measures will not save him from the impending political and electoral Armageddon.
In 1991 Dr Kenneth Kaunda and UNIP tried very hard to cling to power but the Zambian people were decided and overwhelmingly voted them out.
In 2001 Frederick Chiluba tried to manipulate everything and everyone to give himself a third term of office but failed.
In 2011 Rupiah Banda did almost exactly what Edgar is doing today but ended up crying when the election results finally came out.
Does Edgar think he is smarter than Kaunda, Chiluba, and Rupiah and the Zambian people in general?
In politics it’s always important to be able to correctly read the signs of the time and act accordingly.
It’s very clear Edgar and the Patriotic Front are no longer wanted. And with this general national distaste how does Edgar hope to win in 2021?
And if he manipulates the electoral process to give himself a third term will Zambians accept that?