SISHUWA Sishuwa says the UPND-NDC alliance is enough to unseat the PF from government.
Dr Sishuwa, a historian and lecturer at the University of Zambia, questioned the value other political players would bring to the opposition alliance.
“I think a Hichilema-Kambwili ticket will be enough to defeat PF and deliver victory for the opposition. It’s important to be pragmatic in politics. Kambwili brings votes from the Copperbelt and also useful links in the intelligence, crucial to dealing with rigging,” he told The Mast. “In contrast, what value does [Democratic Party leader Harry] Kalaba, Patriots for Economic Progress leader] Sean Tembo, Alliance for Democracy and Development leader Charles] Milupi or [People’s Alliance for Change leader] Andford Banda bring to the coalition? A serious politician in opposition politics who wants to enact positive change once in government first has to win state power. The strategy that they employ to win power may be dictated by the circumstances or context and does not have to be similar to the strategy of governing.”
And Dr Sishuwa said PF were so afraid of the alliance between United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema and his National Democratic Congress counterpart Chishimba Kambwili.
He predicted that the PF would try to weaken the alliance using specific strategies.
“The PF are so afraid of the success of this UPND-NDC alliance that they are determined to destroy it in three main ways. The first strategy is to lure Kambwili back to the PF. This won’t work as long as I don’t think that Kambwili will return to the ruling party as long as Lungu remains President. The second strategy is to convict Kambwili from his ongoing court cases and hope that he can be disqualified,” Dr Sishuwa said. “This won’t work or stop the coalition because according to Article 100 of Zambia’s Constitution, a candidate is only disqualified for nomination as president or running mate if they are serving a prison sentence or have served a jail term of not less than three years in the preceding five years. The implication is that even if Kambwili is convicted by the Lusaka magistrates court, he can appeal to the High Court, and if necessary, the Court of Appeal, and finally the Supreme Court. It’s impossible that these appeal processes will be completed before the 2021 election for him to be serving a prison sentence.”
He said the third strategy could be using a clause in Bill 10 if Parliament passed it, that could disqualify both Hichilema and Kambwili.
“The third strategy is to disqualify Kambwili or even HH himself using Bill 10 which seeks to disqualify any candidate from filling their nomination on grounds of ‘legal disqualification’. In particular, the Bill seeks to amend Article 266 to insert a new term ‘legally disqualified’, defined as ‘a disqualification by a court or quasi-judicial body established by law’,” said Dr Sishuwa. “If passed, this ground could be used to disqualify a citizen seeking nomination for election to any elective public office including President or Vice-President. This provision gives a judge or tribunal the unfettered power to wake up on any day and at any time, such as 02:00 am to bar a prospective presidential candidate on any grounds the presiding judge or tribunal can dream of. This too won’t work if Bill10 collapses, as it must.”