Showing posts with label Nevers Mumba. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nevers Mumba. Show all posts

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Zambia's Main Parties Launch Their Election Campaigns On Saturday

By Paul Shalala

It is being called Big Saturday by those so passionate about this year's campaigns.

It is a day when the 'Big Boys' get to the people, tell them what they have done and what they offer them for the next five years.

On Saturday, the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) and the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) are both expected to launch their 2016 campaigns and their manifestos.

This follows the start of the officially sanctioned election period which commenced on 16 May.

PF will hold its launch at the 60,000 Heroes National Stadium in the capital Lusaka while the UPND will hold its launch at Freedom Park in Kitwe on the Copperbelt.

PF and UPND are the big boys of the 2016 general elections while the rest of the more than two dozen political parties are treated like what American political pundits call 'Third parties.'

President Edgar Lungu, who won a bitterly fought poll in January last year following the death of President Michael Sata in October 2014, is hoping to get a full five year mandate of his own on top of the one year seven months he would have served by the time the polls will be held on 11 August.

Using his position as the incumbent President, his access to public media, ruling party loyalists and the support of a number of immediate past opposition Members of Parliament, President Lungu straight away becomes a frontrunner and hopes to get a clean sweep of the votes.

Bolstered by the completion of the construction of several roads, schools, hospitals and several other infrastructure, the ruling party handlers have even coined the campaign slogan 'Sonta Epowabomba' meaning 'Point At What You Done' to project the President as a working head of state.

Key to President Lungu's campaign will be the person he will choose as his running mate.

Repeatedly, he has announced that his running mate will be a woman.

At the campaign launch, President Lungu is also expected to unveil the names of all candidates who have been adopted to contest the 156 parliamentary seats as well as the local government seats.

On the other hand, President Lungu's arch-rival Hakainde Hichilema of the UPND will be giving it a try for a straight fifth time.

This follows his unsuccessful presidential bids in 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2015.

Bolstered by the defection of several immediate past ruling and other opposition Members of Parliament including former President Sata's son Mulenga, Hichilema is positioning himself as an alternative to the PF.

With the recent economic challenges the country has faced such as the electricity crisis, high inflation and increase in prices of mealie meal, Mr Hichilema has been presenting himself as 'Mr Fixer' who will use his vast knowledge in economics to bring hope to Zambians.

According to some observers, his choice of a running mate is being narrowed down to two of his deputies in his party.

Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, who is popularly known as GBM, is a wealthy politician who is a former Defence Minister and immediate past ruling party Member of Parliament in Kasama Central Constituency in the Northern Province of Zambia.

Another UPND Vice President is Dr. Canicius Banda, a medical personnel-cum politician whose rhetoric at public rallies usually makes headlines.

The UPND is also likely to unveil its candidates for parliament and local government at the launch.

Both parties will be hoping to win the elections in the first round due to the fact that in the second round, a re-run is usually a difficult task due to the high stakes.

The amendments to the constitution enacted in January 2016 provide for presidential candidates to be elected through a majoritarian system by amassing 50% plus one or more votes.

The new laws also provide for a Vice President who is elected during the general elections as a Running Mate, a provision Zambians have been crying for since 1991.

For the former ruling party the MMD, the party is still rocked by indiscipline and infighting.

A faction allied to the party president Dr. Nevers Mumba seems prepared to contest the elections under him while another faction led by immediate past Lunte MP Felix Mutati is pushing for a party convention this weekend to choose a presidential candidate.

Just like last year, the MMD is yet again finding itself fighting during an election period and its presidential candidates may risk being 'beaten' by the number of rejected ballots just like Dr. Mumba did in 2015.

Other politicians who are likely to contest this year's presidential elections are FDD's Edith Nawakwi, Wynter Kabimba of the Rainbow Party and the Green Party's Peter Sinkamba.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Tilyenji, Muliokela, Hichilema Declare Themselves Ready For Polls

Tilyenji Kaunda
By Paul Shalala

Opposition UNIP President Tilyenji Kaunda, Poor People's Party President Alex Muliokela and UPND President Hakainde Hichilema are the only presidential aspirants who have so far confirmed their participation in the forthcoming presidential by-election whose date is yet to be announced.

The by-election has been necessitated by the death of President Michael Sata who was yesterday buried at Embassy Park in Lusaka.

Last week, UNIP National Chairman Jonathan Kenani announced that the party's  35th national council committee meeting had resolved to adopt Mr Kaunda for the forthcoming presidential election and the 2016 presidential election.
35th UNIP national council committee

And Mr Muliokela says he is headed for a landslide victory as he has unparalled messages.

Hakainde Hichilema
"Zambia needs a man of my calibre for a President because of my hard work towards reducing poverty," said Mr Muliokela.

And Mr Hichileman in an interview with
journalists at Parliament on Monday after a thanksgiving ceremony for the late president, said he was ready to attempt the presidency for the forth time.

"I'm ready and we are ready as UPND. We will contest this election because we want to give the people a constitution that will avoid wastage of resources by giving the people good laws," he said.

Mr Hichilema contested and lost presidential elections in 2006, 2008 and 2011.

Edgar Lungu
The ruling Patriotic Front is tomorrow expected to convene a Central Committee meeting where issues surrounding the party candidate will be discussed.

PF Secretary General Edgar Lungu has since declared that the PF will stay on despite the death of its founder Michael Sata who led it from inception in 2001.

There are so far opposing views on how the PF will adopt its presidential candidate.

Some members are calling for the Central Committee to do so while others want an urgent General Conference to be convened to allow members to choose their candidate.

"We will not allow cartels and other highest bidders to hijack the PF. This party will stay on because Michael Sata instilled his vision and ideals in us the members," said Lungu during the requiem mass at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka yesterday.

Meanwhile, the former ruling party MMD is still in a deadlock as t who will lead it in the forthcoming polls.

MMD President Dr. Nevers Mumba and former President Rupiah Banda are said to be frontrunners in the battle to lead the party in the presidential by-election.

Nevers Mumba and Rupiah Banda
"We are mourning and its not appropriate for me to comment if am contesting or not. But for those who want to hijack the MMD, we have a strong constitution and no one can hijack it," he said in an interview on Monday.

And Mr Banda also refused to comment over the matter.

"Let us discuss those matters after we bury His Excellency President Michael Sata," said Banda, who led the MMD and the nation from 2008 to 2011..

Meanwhile, several other opposition political parties are not yet certain on who will contest the presidential elections on their respective tickets.

FDD President Edith Nawakwi, who lost the 2011 presidential elections, is reluctant to attach her name to the polls.
Edith Nawakwi

"I can not state whether i will contest or not. It is up to our National Secretary to disclose who is interested or not within our party," said Nawakwi as she smiled.

And ADD's Charles Milupi says his party will on Thursday hold a National Executive Meeting to decide whether to run for elections.

"We will have a National Executive Meeting on Thursday where we will decide whether to run or not. We will also decide who to run if that will be the case," said Milupi, who also lost the presidential vote in 2011.

The National Restoration Party (NAREP) is tomorrow expected to announce whether it will contest the elections or not.

Under Zambia's 1991 constitution as amended in 1996, the country is supposed to hold elections within 90 days of the the office of the President being declared vacant.

With 28th October 2014 being the date President Sata died, Zambia is supposed to hold the elections on or before January 26th, 2015.