Since my endorsement of Edgar Lungu for President, some sectors of the society have alleged that Easterners have began tribe politics. I thought it best to put my position on the matter on record.
If you look at the voting patterns of Eastern province in the last 22 years, it’s clear that Easterners have never been shy to endorse candidates from other tribes at local, parliamentary and presidential elections. In 1991, the Presidential vote was given to Muchinga with Kaunda against Chiluba of Luapula. Thereafter, in 2001, with two Eastern Presidential candidates, late Christon Tembo and Godfrey Miyanda, the Eastern Province vote was extremely divided across the FDD, MMD, UNIP AND HP. This scenario relocated itself at local Government and Parliamentary elections. Even former President RB did not have it easy in Eastern province, and failed to Marshall the extra 200 thousand votes to win the 2011 elections. Out of over 600 thousand registered voters only 334 thousand voted if am not mistaken.
Our colleagues in Southern province in 99.9% instances have voted only for the UPND at all levels of elections in the last 22 years, with probably the exception of 1991 when it was a revolution.
The most important point is that even as I write this, the battle in Eastern province has been among the MMD, the PF and the UPND. However, the MMD wrangles have pushed Edgar Lungu of the PF ahead. The reason is not because of being an Easterner, but simply because the MMD and PF members, especially in Eastern Province are well known to each other. The PF is an off shoot of the MMD making it easier for cadres in both parties to work together. My observation is that those championing UPND in Eastern Province are mostly first time politicians or those who have found no room in the MMD and the PF.
Our colleagues in Southern province in 99.9% instances have voted only for the UPND at all levels of elections in the last 22 years, with probably the exception of 1991 when it was a revolution. Our observation has been that in Southern province, it does not matter whether a candidate is good or not, as long as they stand on UPND, a win is automatic. Even their Presidential candidate has always received overwhelming support from his province even when the rest of the country voted otherwise. It’s not a secret that some sections of the province have even gone on to state that the UPND is for Tongas only.
I believe Zambians have become quite sophisticated and can not be cheated on who is tribal or not.
I have already given my reasons for supporting Lungu and the PF in general in this by-election. The PF as a Party and not President Sata, was given a 5 year mandate by the people of Zambia in 2011. For removal of any doubt on this point, you will recall that in Zambia, no Presidential candidate is allowed to stand as an independent. One must be supported by a political party meaning it is a party that gets elected into Government. By extent ion when their leader dies, that Party must be able to find a replacement within the Party to continue the term as it is done even in near by Malawi. This would save Zambia a lot of unnecessary by-elections expenses and post election expenditure in case Government changes.
This, dear friends, is how I see it.