Edgar Lungu is in a far worse position than Rupiah Banda was in 2011 in terms of popularity when he lost the elections to Michael Sata.
Rupiah had a lot of money for his campaign. He could even afford to dress trees with regalia but he lost to a candidate who had literally no money. Edgar can choose to ignore all this and say “those are those, me I am another”. But reality will catch up with him. Money, abuse and manipulation of state institutions and the electoral process won’t from the impending defeat, humiliation. There’s a limit to how much one can manipulate things or rig elections. And here it is: money and manipulation are failing to help him push through Bill 10!
The Zambian people are not fools. They now know who Edgar is. The sympathy or Sata votes they gave him in 2015 and 2016 shouldn’t be taken for granted. Now they know that Edgar is not Sata, he is very different. Today even those who were very close to Sata he has distanced himself from them – Chishimba Kambwili, Kelvin Fube Bwalya, Dr Fred M’membe and many others. People know what Edgar has done to these people who were very close to Sata. He has expelled Kambwili from the Patriotic Front and he has been harassing him in so many ways. Edgar has expelled Fube from the Patriotic Front and he has not withdrawn that expulsion. Edgar has closed Dr M’membe’s newspaper, The Post, that helped Sata and the Patriotic Front get to power. And he has occupied Dr M’membe’s house in Mwika Royal Village without any Court order. Most of the people Sata had appointed have been removed by Edgar. One can say that in all practical ways Edgar has distanced himself from Sata and his people. Most of the projects Sata had initiated, especially in Muchinga and Northern provinces, Edgar has abandoned them. How will Edgar win elections using Sata’s name in 2021? Can Edgar win without using Sata’s name? How far can his own name take him?
Edgar shouldn’t also deceive himself that he owns the Patriotic Front and can lead it as long as he wants. He should learn from Frederick Chiluba who thought the MMD was his and could deal with it as he pleased. When Chiluba wanted to give himself a third term of office, MMD members rose against him and said ‘No’! MMD members of parliament stopped his attempt to amend the Constitution to give himself a third term. His Cabinet, including his vice-president, resigned. Edgar shouldn’t cheat himself that what happened to Chiluba cannot happen to him.
Edgar should learn from what Zambians did to Chiluba and Rupiah!