THE Rainbow Party will remain a non-factor in the 2016 general elections because the electoral contest is still between the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) and the United Party for National Development (UPND), Charles Kakoma has projected.
Mr Kakoma, who is UPND spokesperson, said it was politically utopic for Wynter Kabimba and his Rainbow Party to pull a surprise in the 2016 general elections because building a party and winning the confidence of the electorate was not as easy as the Rainbow Party and its leadership was fantasizing.
He said the crowning of PF Kasama Member of Parliament (MP) Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba as UPND vice-president administration had sent a lot of excitement among Zambians and claimed that there were many other PF MPs who would be crossing to the opposition political party by the beginning of next year.
Mr Kakoma said Zambians were only reading about the Rainbow Party in one newspaper but that they did not know whether it existed on the country’s political scene.
He said the Rainbow Party was only interested in attracting the members of the PF and could not therefore be a factor in the general elections next year apart from taking away the votes of the ruling party.
Mr Kakoma recalled that Mr Sata who was more appealing and politically alert than Mr Kabimba formed the PF in 2001, but his performance at general elections at the time was disastrous.
He said it was therefore impossible to expect the Rainbow Party to perform any better than the ruling party at inception.
Mr Kakoma said the PF should be more concerned with its members allegedly joining the Rainbow Party because the UPND had remained intact and had been growing across the country, adding that the opposition political party would be totally different by the beginning of next year.
“The battle in the 2016 general elections remains between the PF and the UPND and the Rainbow Party will remain a non-factor in Zambia’s political dispensation for a long time. Mr Kabimba and his image builders can only continue to enjoy the fantasy of winning the general elections next year but the reality is that they are far from becoming a factor. It takes many years to build a party and win the confidence of the electorate and it is utopia to imagine that you can form a political party a year before elections and expect to win. Even Michael Sata, although a more appealing candidate performed badly after forming the PF in 2001 and it is not possible for Mr Kabimba to pull a surprise next year,” Mr Kakoma said.
He said the UPND was the biggest threat to the PF and that many of the members of the ruling party had already started associating with his party in readiness for the 2016 general elections.
Mr Kakoma said the appointment of Mr Mwamba as vice-president of the UPND to take over from Richard Kapita who has since joined the PF was fully endorsed by the national executive committee and the national management committee. He stated that there were no dissenting views from any of the party organs over the appointment of Mr Mwamba and claimed that there were many other MPs from the ruling party who were courting the UPND.
Mr Kakoma said during the ceremony of unveiling Mr Mwamba as UPND vice-president, there was unanimous acclamation on the appointment of Mr Mwamba as vice-president, adding that the Kasama MP was a big constituency in the country.