Zambia is not Zimbabwe

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WHAT was most fascinating about the result of Zambia’s recent presidential election, in which the opposition leader beat incumbent President, is the celebratory mood that has gripped the MDC Alliance. 

In the August 12 poll, Hakainde Hichilema of the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) beat then State President and leader of the Patriotic Front (PF) Edgar Chagwa Lungu.

MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa burst into what almost sounded like a victory speech.

But alas, we were only to realise that what made him so ecstatic was his hope that Zimbabwe’s 2023 presidential election would also see the incumbent President lose to the opposition. 

Surely such baffling childish imagination is not befitting of somebody with the ambition of becoming a future national President. 

What Chamisa seems not to understand is that Zambia’s political landscape is very different from that of Zimbabwe.

Let alone the political makeup of President-elect Hichilema  and Chamisa himself.

Chamisa’s dream that he can copy and paste Zambia’s results, substituting Lungu with President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Hichilema with Chamisa for Zimbabwe’s 2023 presidential poll sounds more like material from dreamland.

To win an election, you have to sell a credible programme to the electorate.Moreover, the track record of the contestants is open to scrutiny.

WHAT was most fascinating about the result of Zambia’s recent presidential election, in which the opposition leader beat incumbent President, is the celebratory mood that has gripped the MDC Alliance. 

In the August 12 poll, Hakainde Hichilema of the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) beat then State President and leader of the Patriotic Front (PF) Edgar Chagwa Lungu.

MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa burst into what almost sounded like a victory speech.

But alas, we were only to realise that what made him so ecstatic was his hope that Zimbabwe’s 2023 presidential election would also see the incumbent President lose to the opposition. 

Surely such baffling childish imagination is not befitting of somebody with the ambition of becoming a future national President. 

What Chamisa seems not to understand is that Zambia’s political landscape is very different from that of Zimbabwe.

Let alone the political makeup of President-elect Hichilema  and Chamisa himself.

Chamisa’s dream that he can copy and paste Zambia’s results, substituting Lungu with President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Hichilema with Chamisa for Zimbabwe’s 2023 presidential poll sounds more like material from dreamland.

To win an election, you have to sell a credible programme to the electorate.Moreover, the track record of the contestants is open to scrutiny.

For a start, the MDC Alliance, which is responsible for running most urban centres, has failed disimally.

Corruption by MDC Alliance councillors stinks to high heaven as ‘residential’ stands are illegally allocated willy-nilly.

Some people have ended up with their houses razed down after being allocated stands in non-residential sites.

These are the very urban voters the MDC Alliance is hoping to hoodwink at the 2023 general elections.

Both Chamisa and Hichilema have lost successive general elections before.

It is their attitude towards losing which distinguishes the political acumen of the two.

Hichilema had already lost four times in his bid to be President of Zambia.

This was fifth time lucky for the never-say-die successful businessman.

Instead of turning into a crybaby, each time he lost, he restrategised for the next opportunity. 

This is unlike Chamisa and his version of the disjointed MDC.

Each time they lost, like typical crybabies they are, they have sought a way to have the results reversed.

There is this ridiculous case of the 2013 results when they claimed that an ‘X’ cast in favour of the MDC on the ballot paper somehow morphed into a ZANU PF vote.

An Israeli firm, NIKUV, was credited with such unique magical powers.

In the 2018 elections, Chamisa unsuccessfully sought relief from the Constitutional Court without any evidence (V11) to support his claims of rigging.

Instead, Chamisa then pledged to sabotage anything ZANU PF did as a Government (kudira jecha).

He is the same man who has implored the US to impose sanctions so that Zimbabweans would suffer and rebel against the Government.

Thank heavens, he has failed on both fronts!

No wonder even their backer, that political chameleon called Professor Jonathan Moyo, has come out with a sound analysis.

For once he hit the nail on the head when he indicated that ZANU PF is a party of action while the MDC Alliance thrives on wishful thinking.

And concrete examples are there for all to see.

What comes immediately to mind is the country’s efforts to save lives in the wake of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

The country is indeed punching above its weight in the procurement of vaccines and ensuring that WHO protocols to contain the virus are observed.

In fact, in terms of the vaccination drive, WHO rates Zimbabwe as one of the best in the world. 

And, in line with the country’s vision to be an upper-middle income economy by 2030, the ZANU PF Government has made great strides.

This is seen by the various infrastructural projects and tangible attempts to uplift the lives of people.

The rural folk has fallen in love with Pfumvudza, a zero tillage mode of farming, which saw most of them more than double their yields in the last harvest. Nascent animal and fish projects spearheaded by the ZANU PF Government are showing progress.

What with water schemes and construction of dams with the mammoth Gwayi-Shangani Dam and pipeline destined to fulfill a life-long dream for Bulawayo.

A number of irrigation schemes and and piped water at villagers’ doorsteps are going a long way in uplifting the people’s lives.

The upgrading of the Zimbabwe Beitbridge-Harare Highway and the Robert Mugabe International

Airport are wonders even for the world to see. 

And the ongoing massive reconstruction of the Seke Road has brought boundless joy to Chitungwiza residents.  

This and a lot more serves to buttress Professor Moyo’s observation that ZANU PF is a party of action.

Meanwhile, the MDC Alliance might find comfort in living in a world of make-believe until after a looming rude awakening in 2023.

That’s when they might realise that indeed Zambia is not Zimbabwe.

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