Dear Editor

I would bet my last dime that come 11th August 2016 when we have elections, the ruling PF and opposition parties in Zambia will have formed formidable grand coalitions.

Already, we hear there are unholy alliances that have been formed and these alliances are gaining momentum, going to bed propagating and manipulating what we fear might not work.

We fear they will fail just as previous attempts to form an effective front to dislodge MMD from power under the leadership of Rupiah Mbwezani Banda did.

Late PF leader Michael Sata and HH tried to form an alliance but their marriage disintegrated long before the child was born.

The Zambian model of a coalition entails political parties coming together, adding up numbers but retaining their respective organizational and ideological identities.

This concept, it seems, is grounded on the old adage that there is strength in numbers.

Thus, the coalition will fundamentally be a strategy to change the political status quo – a practical method to chart a new dispensation, rather than an ideological phenomenon.

I am not sure if coming together solely to remove PF party or planning in advance because of 50% + 1 enactment would guarantee sustainability of any coalition.

The danger is assuming the parties were ever to succeed in forming the alliance and then win by 50% + 1, they will suddenly find themselves with power they would not know how to share and use it or we will perhaps witness potential political instability if the second voting will not be well managed.

The risk of second voting is that it might be on tribal or regional lines rather than credibility of a candidate.

Whatever the case, I frankly do not see HH relinquishing the reins to Nevers Mumba or Edith Nawakwi or vice-versa.

When it comes to the matter of who should lead the coalition, self-interest and self-preservation are still going to prevail, throwing spanners into the works, and that is what made the coalition between Sata and Hakainde fail.

The Zambian politics is still hamstrung by the founder mentality.

It is improbable that those who sweated to form the grand coalition would simply surrender the fruits of their labour to someone who did nothing all along.

In any case, the process of identifying the leader would hardly escape partisanship.

Whoever might be chosen is likely to be seen as a protégé of one of the coalition principals, and the vicious circle would continue.

For a grand coalition to succeed, we need dedicated and selfless leadership, a national democratic revolution ready to spearhead the objectives.

These men and women in the coalition must craft a compelling vision of hope and articulate a unifying national agenda.

The coalition must establish a revolutionary programme of the people around and popular aspirations of equity, justice and prosperity.

I regret and fear at times that we are wasting our time trying to dislodge a government through the ballot box when the evidence reveals that this is unlikely to happen as long as parties are divided.

That is one sad fact which we must all admit.

Dominic Muntanga

Categorized | Letters

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