Save the PF from Itself! ….’We Need a Vibrant Opposition for Democracy to Flourish’

Patriotic Front PF Presidential Aspirants for 2022

Save the PF from Itself!
….’We Need a Vibrant Opposition for Democracy to Flourish’

By Davis Mataka

Truth be told, we need a vibrant PF and other opposition parties to ensure checks and balances against any excesses, omissions or inadequacies by government.

But what is happening in the PF, the biggest opposition party, should be cause for concern for those who understand the trappings of a functional democracy.

It is in our interest as citizens to have strong opposition so that it offers alternatives to the UPND matters of governance, which ultimately benefits the people of Zambia.

However, recent pronouncements by the PF hierarchy have caused consternation rendering credence to the notion that the party is slowly dying from a toxic environment slowly creeping into it’s rank and file.

Historically In Zambia, It has never been easy for political parties to stage comebacks unscathed after being ousted from power, not especially the kind of whitewash suffered by the PF at the hands of the UPND in 2021.

Lessons to learn from are abound. The aftermath of the tumultuous end of the 27 year reign of the UNIP in 1991 tops the list; The unprecedented loss of the MMD to maverick politician Michael Sata and PF in 2011.

And just last year, the landslide victory of the UPND against a self conceited , over confident, overated PF.

In the 58 years since Independence, losing parties just fail to dust up and reorganise, they disintegrate into smaller interest groups leaving their parties silhouettes of their former selves.

This, often arising from internal squabbling about who takes over at the helm of the organisation in the aftermath.

An exodus especially of members of parliament ensues rocking the very foundation the affected parties rest upon, then boom! Nothing.

Is this the same fate that has befallen the once mighty PF ?
If things continue on the same trajectory, then the greens are doomed to a similar Sepulchre, just as the other losers before them were consigned to.

But is the PF seeing things through the same binoculars as we the public is viewing from?

One of the concerns noted is the ‘heavy handedness’ of the party on any ‘wayward’ or dissenting opinion members may have.

Recently, the PF gave marching orders to those members that were singled out as having failed or refused to attend crucial meetings.

Others were wacked with the green rod for refusing to pay a percentage of their earnings as contributions to the party. Serving PF members of parliament and those members still employed in the civil service have felt the brunt of punishment arising from percieved non-compliance of this in-house party requirement.

Interestingly, of those called to task, non whatsoever has publicly shown remorse for their inaction, and those who dared respond have inequivocally told the party to “go to hell”

It is such decisions that have a polarizing effect when this should have instead been a time to introspect and rally together, offering the proverbial “checks and balances.”

In retrospect, this may not necessarily be easy for PF, with the kind of checkered reputation during it’s 10 years of misrule. Their past behaviour will be taken as a measure of the party’s (In)effectiveness in opposition?

The last few months since they ‘rebranded’ and the subsequent shortlist of the PF presidential aspirant list made public, has made matters even worse.

What with the disenfranchisement of poorer members through the outrageous K200,000 presidential nomination fees?

The systematic purge of other candidates through unheralded but apparent Bemba hegemony traits? (refer to PF list of successful presidential election nominees).

The presence of an invisible but powerful puppeteers’ hand seemingly pitting dangling muppets on strings against each another ?

Party bigwigs have started their ‘dance of dominance and death’, sizing each other up. But like the waste after a nuclear detonation, will anyone be left standing?

Dutifully, government has provided a perfect environment for the opposition to flourish, but the opposition parties themselves don’t see.The PF in being suicidal.

The death knell is chiming but who can save the PF from itself?

Patriotic Front PF Presidential Aspirants for 2022

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