By Kay Lwendo – My Honest View
The parliamentary debates and the Social Media Talk Shows (SMTS) by MPs have over ridden the critical and much needed reality of taking actionable tasks to reach out to the grassroots membership. The parliamentary debates and Social media, both are not adequate to take over the campaign tasks exhaustively in the quest to reach out deeply and holistically to the grassroots.
An independent sensitive analysis of the presidential by-election in both 2015 succeeded by the general elections in 2016, clearly brings out indisputable results that show how the UPND MPs perceptively lost the presidency on the two occasions on two fail points:
- The low Voter Turnouts
The low voter-turnouts against the total registered voters in the individual constituencies perceived to be strongholds for the UPND cost the UPND the presidency in its own strongholds. The overall low turnouts did significantly affect the overall results in the areas of popularity because little efforts were visibly applied to ensure all eligible voters actually voted. If significant efforts had been comprehensively applied, the numbers would have been a lot better than they turned out. The absolute numbers are the ones that matter the most and not necessarily the percentages here. To win by 80% of 17,500 voters who actually turned out only yieldeds 14,000 votes, while the same 80% against a total of 37,000 registered voters would have yielded a grand 29,600 votes. So while both calculations are based on the same percentage win of 80%, the absolute numbers stand at 15,600 votes apart. Lungu is in office today due to a mere 13,000 plus votes. So UPND MPs must be alive to this real situation and must wake up to this call that seriously every vote counts. In fact this is a red flag to all UPND MPs who performed badly on this score. The nominations of MPs for the future must be in line with this applied effort and not age or seemingly fake loyalties. Some UPND MPs have also honestly expired for such duties as the demanding role of representing their constituencies. Anyone with more two terms should not be adopted for an extra term. They normally become stale and way too relaxed.
- Low Winning Ratios
The failure by the MPs to achieve higher winning ratios in their own bedroom constituencies shows lack of seriousness and not so much concern for the presidencial electoral performance bar. This too cost the UPND presidency for the party. While it is appreciated that the PF stole the electoral votes significantly in both instances through ABC using Kaiza Zulu, Emmanuel Mwamba, Kelvin Fubes Bwalya and Amos Chanda, the margins secured in the stronghold constituencies like Mazabuka, Choma Central, Kazungula, Livingstone, Chavuma, Solwezi Central, Keembe, Siavonga, Chirundu, Chisamba, Mumbwa, Monze Central all show pathetic results to be honest. UPND could have done better. Had these margins been huge, even stealing by the Perfect Fools would have been difficult.
The two pointers above need to be paid attention to if UPND must form Government come 2021. The results attained from the sensitivity analysis show that little or no efforts were applied in the UPND stronghold constituencies for the party to yield better and more favourable overall result.