Being talkative and loud does not always mean one is very good at their work or service delivery. In fact, it may mean the very opposite. In the history of Barcelona football club, the three most respected, influential and effective players of all times are all very short and quiet people- Iniesta, Savi and Leo Messi. They all play and score without shouting or talking too much on the pitch. In fact, Leo Messi has won the most football trophies and awards on earth, but he is one player who rarely gives interviews to the media, he is very quiet and withdrawn.
This is the type of character that is needed in UPND for us to win this election.
HH needs someone very sober, quiet and well skilled or gifted but very effective and dangerous like Leo Messi. Under Mazoka, we had people like Patrick Chisanga or Dipak Patel, they talked less but added more value to the UPND in terms of thought processes and workable strategies.
In PF, Lungu seems to have an abundance of reliable individuals such as Given Lubinda, Mundubile, Makebi Zulu or Jonas Chanda.
At State House, one person stands out for Lungu although very quiet, invisible and unseen, his political advisor Chris Zumani Zimba.
From the time he was appointed almost two years ago as political advisor, he has never given personal interviews to the media. Totally different from our HH’s advisors in Mubita Nawa or William Banda who are known more for talking loud than scientific thinking or political strategies.
Lungu’s Zimba is very different from his predecessor, Kaizer Zulu who was also too loud, noisy and everywhere with heavy drinking, gunshot parties and routine accidents. HH clearly missed it on William Banda or Mubita Nawa who are like Kaiser Zulu.
For many people, it is like Zimba does not exist in that big political office apart from the clear impact of his office. This is what makes Lungu and PF very dangerous for this election because they have a quiet, sober and skilled full time war planner who is dedicated to planning for their political battles and reviewing their strategies everyday.
1. If you count the number of bye elections Zimba has managed and won as a young political adviser for Lungu, then you have no choice but to respect him.
His greatest tests were Chilubi and Lukasha bye elections where many of us in the UPND became very sure that PF would lose and be humiliated in their stronghold. The results came out the opposite; PF and Lungu performed far much better than 2016.
Under this quiet Zimba, PF and Lungu have won more bye elections countrywide than us in UPND with loud and talkative advisors.
This 2021 general election seems exactly like many bye elections we have lost to PF if not worse. The truth is that, us in UPND always win these elections with a false public perception landslide on social media and through our own fake opinion polls done by some white people while PF and Lungu have always won the actual votes and elections on the ground.
2. Both many of us in the opposition and PF itself thought PF would fall apart and become divided after the 2021 National General Conference. With the fire, chaos and divisions of the 2015 PF General Conference in Kabwe, it was expected too that come 2021, the chaos and divisions in PF would be worse. But we were all shocked to see that Lungu and PF had the most popular, convincing and peaceful general conference in the history of the party. It just outperformed and buried our UPND national convention.
Today, PF has not suffered any serious political injuries like we have in UPND where we have lost many members to PF in massive defections including some of our key members like Charles Kakoma or Ephraim Belemu. In fact, PF and Lungu have won back their Chishimba Kambwili and Wynter Kabimba something that is giving us in UPND sleepless nights.
3. Look at the composition of President Lungu’s new central committee members. It is truly a reflection of a One Zambia, One Nation team ever put up by PF, MMD or UPND. PF even selected and appointed our own former spokesperson as a member of their central committee. Southern or Western provinces have more members in the central committee than Muchinga or Eastern province. This is a distinction of genius political thinking beyond and above regional or tribal politics; as UPND we have lamentably failed to practice this. And many critics and loud people inside and outside PF do not want to recognize the role of a good political advisor behind Lungu. The fact is that our HH lacks a Zimba.
4. During the adoption of candidates, many of us in UPND became so happy that the ruling party would eventually become so divided and fail to defend power. Many constituencies were over contested countrywide for PF. Instead of the usual national list of adopted candidates, the PF central committee started announcing their candidates province by province with people being picked on merit and not because of having big names in the party or cabinet. This was a big game changer for them. Eventually, even us in UPND had no choice but to copy the PF style of announcing candidates.
5. Another bridge we all thought PF and Lungu will breakdown or blunder was the choice of the running mate. In UPND, we were very sure that Lungu will be found wanting on this because he had many senior party and cabinet members who were gunning for this position and visibly fighting each other. But in a skill of political genius, Professor Nkando Luo was picked from nowhere. This even made it impossible for our HH to pick Garry Nkombo, Jack Mwiimbu, Felix Mutati or KBF for running mate. Again, we had no choice but to copy from PF and Lungu.
6. And when we heard that the Electoral Commission of Zambia had discouraged political parties from having huge rallies in May due to Covid-19 and President Lungu emphasized it at the launch of the PF national campaign, many people inside PF itself cursed and insulted Zimba as a useless political advisor. In UPND, we even took advantage and advised our HH to denounce the ban and immediately we started our huge road shows and province by province rallies. Lungu and Zimba looked like they didn’t know what they were doing by observing the COVID-19 rules and regulations while our HH, William Banda, KBF and Felix Mutati looked very clever.
7. But today, Zambia is mourning and mourning every day in a historical manner in terms of death toll. Each day, prominent and non prominent Zambians are being lost to COVID-19. COVID-19 is killing Zambians at the fastest rate never imagined and thought of.
Now we understand that President Lungu and Zimba were right and wiser than us in UPND not to embark on huge political rallies due to COVID-19. Now everyone in PF cannot criticize the president or his political advisor. In UPND, we now know that we need a Zimba around HH and not William Banda, KBF or Mubita Nawa.
8. In terms of the structure and approach of the 2021 campaign, PF is doing far much better than our UPND in most areas. We only beat them on social media, that’s all. PF and Lungu have provincial campaign coordinators everywhere independently supporting their structures in all the provinces. Apart from not having countrywide UPND structures, our HH does not provincial campaigners. PF has the Vice President, Prof. Luo, CK, Edith Nawakwi, SG and President Lungu himself all campaigning in different places everyday. In UPND, our HH is campaigning alone at a time. I don’t even know when our leader will finish touring Zambia. But he lacks what Lungu has, a quiet and very effective Zimba.
9. When you follow everything happening now, you can see that the 2021 are well organized and structured for PF and Lungu. For some of who are campaigning on the ground for HH and UPND, we have seen that each component of the PF campaign is being funded and supported in a structured manner. We hear and see that PF presidential campaign coordinators, their parliamentary candidates, councilors, mayors, council chairpersons and party structures countrywide receive funding and materials based on size of voters in a constituency as well as voter pattern. This is what we lack in UPND today.
Zimba may be too quiet and unseen, but he applies a lot of order and science in what he does for Lungu and PF. Results speak for him than people. And this is how he may win 2021 for President Lungu and the PF because the enemy, us in UPND does not see him coming or going except his trail of blood and fire where he passes. In geography, he can be described as a hell storm, not ordinary wind. With 56 days to go, it is not too late for our leader to find and use of such gifted characters. HH needs a wise David or Joseph to win us this election and not these giant Goliath or Tysons we see in UPND today.