Saved by defeat


HH and the UPND in general may not think so but their loss in this dead heat contest may have served the country from a very fractious transition.

Social scientists who undertook pre-election polls were unanimous that Edgar Lungu was going to win by up to 63 percent of the vote.  This estimation was based on a number of factors including regional voting and apathy from fatigue in voting as well as the seasonal factor.

These scientific estimates have been proved wrong and statisticians are already speculating on the cause as being the uncharacteristically high turnout in one region where the UPND has a stronghold. Whereas the national average turnout  hovered around 28 percent,  the turnout in Southern and North-Western Province was beyond 75 percent.

Researchers and social scientists will undoubtedly want to find out the factors that led to this deviation from the norm. 

There is no doubt that other voters and political activists have acknowledged this discrepancy and would like to seek an explanation because it is unusual in a sample such as the nation that there should be a clear statistical deviation that cannot be explained by preferential voting.

Initial statistics show that the block figures in Southern Province outstripped the Copperbelt which has a much higher population.

 A number of explanations have been advanced for this phenomenon which unfortunately has been ascribed to tribalism.

 Fortunately the same can also be said about the pattern of voting elsewhere except that the model is not compatible as the PF leader is not Bemba.

  Therefore the discrepancy assumes very ominous proportions that would have endangered a UPND government that would have depended on the current legislature to pass Bills and generally overseer government.

The perception would seem to suggest that a fraction of the population not entirely basing their decision on merit could have determined the form of government Zambia would have.

It can be argued that democracy as political ideology emphasizes the rule of the mob or majority over the minority.

  In essence the tyranny of numbers has more significance in a democracy compared to republicanism which is based on merit.

Republicans believe that only those individuals who excel must assume higher office because their expert knowledge, experience and exposition justifies their leadership role.

Clearly, given regional voting this paradigm does not apply.  In essence an argument could be advanced that regionalism or put brutally, tribalism, determines the vote rather than individual attributes or merit.

No doubt HH would have been put under great pressure to justify his election considering the nature of regional voting that has been exhibited. 

No doubt this sentiment would have marred his presidency and consequently affected his chances for the 2016 election.

Our advice is that having been advanced a lemon, the UPND still has a chance to reorganize, broaden its base and face the election in 2016 as a national organization appealing across ethnic and regional boundaries.

This is not impossible.  Anderson Mazoka was able to garner support from all sections of society.  The same can be achieved by HH and his colleagues in the next elections.

The onus now lies on all the political parties to show that their support is not simply ethnic but goes beyond to advance the credibility, competence and ability of their candidates to lead this great country to new heights of achievement.

Categorized | Editorial

2 Responses to “Saved by defeat”

  1. Moses says:

    Good article.

    The HH tragedy is that he seems to wonder why he keeps losing elections. His attitude appears to be one of saying ” hey you guys, look at me, you have a brilliant rich CEO guy who can deliver you to the promised land. You NEED me more than I need you.”

  2. St Mary Magadalena says:

    VJ was in southern province before and during voting. I am just saying.


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