HILE THE UPND is complaining about the process of re-registration of voters being conducted by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECA), their supporters are self-motivated and determined to register enmasse in readiness for the 2021 general elections.
On the other side, the ruling Patriotic Front are being misled by crowds that attend their rallies into believing that their supporters will do the expected thing to go and register as voters, this is not the case with PF supporters.
PF supporters are material and benefit-driven, they are not self-motivated. If PF leaders were keen to mobilise voters the way the Secre-tary-General, Binwell Mutale, Geoffrey Mwamba, Japhen Mwakalombe, Nixon Chilangwa and the way Father Bwalya was doing, there would be no voter apathy in their strongholds we are witnessing today.
To be honest, people love the party, the only problem is that the real people who understand grassroots mobilisation are not given the nec-essary resources to do their work. The SG should change the way party resources ought to be apportioned for party mobilisation.
Look at the team that went to campaign in Luangwa in the recent ward by-election, how much resources was given to them? What was the return on investment?
PF won the seat with a marginal difference, what does that tell us about the attitude of the team that camped there with the resources they had at their disposal? It means they did not use the resources for the intended activities in the ward. It had to take Lusaka Province Minister , Bowman Lusambo to go and beef up the campaigns.
PF has no luxury of entrusting the responsibility of mobilising the members to register as voters with the Lusaka district committee in case of Lusaka, this is the responsibility that should be given to serious minded people like Mr Lusambo, Mr Kelvin Kaunda, Mr Charles Chi-mumbwa, GBM, Mr Clement Tembo, Mr Given Lubinda, Ms Charity Banda, Mr Mwakalombe and others who are not seen to be self-centred.
Voter registration is an important exercise that should be taken seriously by the PF. We don’t seem to have a problem on the Copperbelt, the problem is in Lusaka. Unfortunately, the same selfish members of the district are the ones that are aspiring for the same positions in the upcoming district elections.
What this means is PF is likely to lose grip in Lusaka not because they have lost members to the opposition, no, but because members are tired with the current district officials who only want to start make shift mobilisation when they realise that there are material benefits. You can’t win hearts like that.
People should be convinced that supporting PF means human dignity not handouts and lip service, that is manipulation (let’s do this to-gether but only me should benefit) this is wrong.
I hope the PF top leadership will take this seriously and make necessary changes at Lusaka district to improve party operations as well as grassroots mobilisation in Lusaka.
Let us learn from the past best practices where many volunteers would go to the people to explain the PF and its programmes of action, they would go on printing campaign material with their money because they felt that they were part of the family called PF.
Today, even the media team at secretariat level avoid calls from people with suggestions and ideas on how to improve information flow. Frank Bwalya used to be in constant touch with all media teams be it those who were in charge of social media, print and traditional media platforms, and international media. Emmanuel Mwamba is there for them to ask how he was managing to give the PF side of the story to hostile international media houses. Media experts, will tell you today that you don’t avoid critical media houses, you furnish them with cor-rect information since your target is not them but their audience but the PF media team today don’t seem to realise this.
Anyway, let us all mobilise the existing members of the party and the first time potential voters to register as voters especially in our strongholds.
ENOCK KAPITOLO CHULU.