Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pray for the Elections in Zambia

I have to tell you that I hate election time. In America, signs everywhere
and soooooooo much wasted campaign money that could make a difference in the
world. It is a bit nicer here, not as many signs or wasted money, except
when people get hurt and even killed in the violence over candidates.

Please read this article as posted in the Zambia Daily Mall. So far I
haven't seen any violence, but we are all praying... Would you join us?

THE Patriotic Front (PF) has unveiled a campaign of spontaneous terror
targeting MMD supporters in Lusaka and the Copperbelt as the main means of
winning the September 20 tripartite elections.
And the PF Chongwe parliamentary candidate Sylvia Masebo has castigated her
party's cadres accusing them of being lazy for allowing the MMD to outshine
them and regain its popularity in Lusaka and the Copperbelt, while Kabwata
candidate Given Lubinda has threatened to mount his own campaigns.
PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba instructed party cadres, some of them
wielding machetes and catapults, at a public rally in Lusaka near the
Freedom Statue on Sunday to attack MMD cadres and take over markets and bus
stations.
The mostly drunken cadres went on rampage, stoning motorists on Independence
Avenue in response to Mr Kabimba's instruction.
Mr Kabimba instructed the PF youths to go round Lusaka markets and bus
stations and force the MMD members out so that the opposition party can
regain control of the trading places.
He told them to "viciously" deal with the MMD cadres as if they are
criminals because the police are allegedly not adequately securing the
campaigns.
"Here are the instructions from the party leadership: deal with the MMD like
they are criminals because the police are not protecting you. Do not give
them any chance and wherever you will find them, hit them hard. You are the
foot soldiers of the PF, and in fact you are in the majority.
"The MMD should not dominate the markets and bus stations because we have
more youths than the ruling party. We do not want to hear that you are being
outnumbered," MrKabimba said.
And as Mr Kabimba was spelling out the chilling instructions to the youthful
party zealots, PF youth chairman Ashell Kampengele grabbed the microphone
from him and instructed the youths to immediately run to Kamwala market and
beat up all MMD cadres who were campaigning in the area.
The beer-reeking youths, some of them wobbling on weak legs while
brandishing machetes and catapults, abandoned the venue and instead rushed
to Independence Avenue where they started throwing stones at motor vehicles,
causing panic among motorists.
An MMD campaign vehicle was pelted but the driver managed to elude the
missiles by meandering through heavy traffic and melted away into the city
centre.
The PF cadres were heard saying they are incensed that the MMD is freely
flying its flags in all the markets and bus stations in Lusaka and the
Copperbelt, the areas that have over the years been perceived to be the
opposition party's strongholds.
And the PF has castigated its cadres accusing them of being lazy for
allowing the MMD to outshine them and regain its popularity in Lusaka and
the Copperbelt, with MrLubinda threatening to mount his own campaigns.
MsMasebo wondered on Sunday during a district rally why her new party's
'foot soldiers' in the capital city are sleeping while their MMD
counterparts are wooing voters by the thousands as the country moves closer
to next month's tripartite elections.
The rally, mostly attended by drunken youths, failed to impress MsMasebo who
did not hide her fears that the PF is fast losing its steam in the capital
city.
"You people in Lusaka have a problem. You must wake up and work hard. This
is war and you must not take it easy. You have been thinking that you have
already won the battle, but the MMD, through William Banda, have been
working. You have not been serious with work," an upset MsMasebo said.
She accused the PF members of not being serious with campaigns and told them
that it will not be easy for the party to reclaim its dominance in Lusaka
because the MMD "has done its homework".
She expressed disappointment that she has become stronger in the PF than the
members she found, saying the signs are not encouraging in the city.
The MMD has lately taken Lusaka by storm, swelling its ranks with droves of
prospective voters who are defecting from opposition parties at colourful
public rallies organised by the party's provincial executive committee.
This has forced the PF to admit that the MMD has done its homework by
mounting an elaborate countrywide campaign that has left the opposition
parties flatfooted.
And MrLubinda, who was visibly not happy with the number of people who
attended the rally, said he will embark on addressing his own rallies in
Kabwata in view of the PF's poor performance.
The PF leaders dressed down their cadres at a poorly attended Lusaka
district rally near the Freedom Statue in Kamwala area attended by secretary
general WynterKabimba, MrLubinda and former Mandevumember of Parliament Jean
Kapata.
The other leaders in attendance included parliamentary candidate for Matero
Miles Sampa, Professor NkanduLuo for Munali and Edgar Lungu for Chawama.
Some of the few adults who attended the rally said they are disappointed at
the calibre of the PF candidates at local government level, and were heard
murmuring while the candidates, most of them youths, were introduced.
"We have little problems with the calibre of MPs, but the calibre of the
aspiring councillors is worrying. We are going to have a council full of
young boys, and this is not good for the party.
"These young men do not even understand why they are standing apart from
shouting slogans," one man said. - By WALLEN SIMWAKA and CHARLES CHISALA

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