Pleading with village headmen and indunas at Mwala Hills in Eastern Province to forgive the Patriotic Front government and give it another chance in power last Sunday, Dora Siliya said they are not ready to hand over power to anyone unless in 2026.
She begged them to sensitise the people not to vote Edgar Lungu out next year because it would disadvantage development in Eastern Province, which was in the pipeline.
She told them that if Easterners would not vote in numbers then Edgar Lungu will lose the way Rupiah Banda lost.
She said people in Eastern Province should vote in numbers to overcome Southern Province.
“We shouldn’t relax that Edgar azawina (will win) since he is an Easterner but if we vote lazily, our friends in Southern Province will challenge us and we will be removed in power. Let’s not vote lazily the way we did on Rupiah. We lost him because we are many but few voted and we lost him. Those eight bags of fertiliser we got under Rupiah disappeared because [Michael) Sata ate Cassava which doesn’t require fertiliser and you started calling us Paya Farmer and it’s now under President Edgar Lungu that agriculture has been revamped. These elections of next year are not an easy one. It’s war abale anga (my brothers and sisters)! It’s a war, we should make sure everyone registers as voters and vote on 12th August 2021 or else we will lose. Napapata (please), we go wrong, we in government, but forgive us please! Pray for us, we know we have gone through problems in these five years but let’s not lose this presidency because we still have a lot to do with it in our families, communities. We are not only happy for Edgar to be in State House but to work for us. If this presidency leaves Eastern Province, nobody among us will be alive when it will be back here…Let’s not be lazy. If Edgar Lungu loses next year, good agricultural system will collapse. So we have to put on much effort if Edgar is to win next year because we still have a lot to do. For now, we are not ready to hand over power to anyone unless in 2026 we are going to say ‘now namwe a Tonga mungatoleko ici cinthu but pakali pano usogoleri tikali nao nacocita (you Tongas can as well take over [the reigns] but for now we still have a lot to do with this leadership),” this is the wako ni wako gospel according to St Dora Siliya.
Is this how regionalised or tribalised our politics and elections have become?
Does this explain why our people in Eastern Province never voted for the Patriotic Front when Michael Sata, from Northern Province, was its leader and presidential candidate? The Patriotic Front only started winning in Eastern Province when Sata died and was replaced by Edgar Lungu, who hails from Eastern Province. How can this be explained? Is it part of the wako ni wako doctrine?
If Eastern Province is for Edgar and Southern Province for Hakainde Hichilema where does it leave those from Northern, Muchinga and Luapula provinces? What about those from Western and North Western provinces? What about those from Copperbelt, Central and Lusaka provinces?
This calls for some deep soul searching. Each region or tribe is today effectively being challenged by Dora to find their own presidential candidates if they are to see development. Where will this leave our politics and elections?
From what Dora is saying, why should Northern, Muchinga and Luapula provinces continue voting for Edgar? Why should Western, North Western, Central, Copperbelt and Lusaka provinces continue voting for Edgar or Hakainde, and not their own?