Chief Hamusonde says Edgar Lungu’s leadership has become untenable.
“I have interacted with not only my subjects but even civil servants, men and women in uniform, the poor youths on the streets, nurses, doctors and farmers and the language is the same. They are fed up with the Patriotic Front government, they are fed up with President Edgar Lungu and his leadership is no longer untenable,” says chief Hamusonde.
It’s true! Edgar is not wanted – not even in the Patriotic Front itself. He is simply imposing himself on the Patriotic Front. And this is easy to do. All he needs is to use the likes of Bowman Lusambo and other sycophants who have benefited a lot financially and otherwise from his leadership to intimidate and harass those trying to replace him as leader and presidential candidate for the Patriotic Front. Edgar is maintaining himself as Patriotic Front leader by manipulation and the instilling of fear.
But there’s alternative leadership emerging in the Patriotic Front which Edgar will have to crush at a huge political cost for him to remain at the helm of the Patriotic Front. There’s some organisation emerging around Kelvin Bwalya Fube – he is certainly not a lone wolf. But Fube is not the only one aspiring to replace Edgar as Patriotic Front leader. There are many others who are cowards or opportunists waiting to be anointed by Edgar when he realises that things are not good for him and withdraws from the race.
There are also alternatives to Edgar outside the Patriotic Front. Besides Hakainde Hichilema and the UPND, there’s Dr Fred M’membe and the Socialist Party. There will certainly be a choice for Zambians next year – it won’t be a one horse race. Picture in Harry Kalaba, and already Chishimba Kambwili is saying it’s not a matter of him going back to PF that can make people like it, stressing that “my moving to PF cannot be a solution to the hunger and anger people have towards PF”.
Unless Edgar succeeds in manipulating the electoral process or in outright rigging the elections, he is out. But trying to manipulate the electoral process has its limits. The level of public distaste for Edgar is too high to manipulate. People don’t want him. Why should any honest or sane person vote for Edgar? With this clear failure of Edgar’s leadership, it will be very difficult for anyone to mobilise votes for Edgar. Even buying of votes has limits.
If Edgar stands, the choice for next will certainly be between Hakainde and Dr M’membe. And honest people within the Patriotic Front are now recognising this reality.