THE 2021 election will have the highest number of independent candidates at parliamentary level in the history of the country, a development which may result in a totally different complexion of the National Assembly after the polls.
Eastern Province has 43 independent candidates while North-Western has 15 and there are more in other regions.
Political parties must immediately analyse this scenario even before they get drowned in campaigns to establish the causes.
There are many reasons that could have led to the proliferation of independent candidates, which obviously need dissecting.
Invariably, candidates who have opted to go solo are dissatisfied with the outcome of the adoption process and feel strongly that they should have been the preferred candidates.
However, some candidates have gone independent out of selfishness even when the adoption process was scandal-free.
Others may have made emotional decisions to leave their parties to stand as independents and will only realise their fatal error of judgement when they get into the field and spend money through the nose.
Political campaigns are costly more so if financed at individual level!
It is also true that some politicians may have been misled by scroungers to stand as independents after being left out.
In political circles, there are too many parasites who masquerade and strategists when in actual fact they live off other people such as politicians during the campaign period.
These parasites were taking advantage of unsuccessful candidates, whom they have driven into filing their nominations as independent candidates.
They will continue milking such candidates every day and abandon them when they lose.
However, it will be important for political parties to look at this matter critically and reflect on the adoption system so that adjustments could be made.
Yes, it is a democratic right of any person to stand as an independent candidate or to stand on the party of their choice.
The Republic Constitution is very clear and provides for independent candidates to participate in an election.
However, the proliferation of independent candidates this year should not be mistaken for growth of democracy because the opposite could be true.
Sone candidates have cried foul, that the adoption process was undemocratic and gave no room nor time to appeal.
Therefore, political parties ought to review the adoption process, right from constituency, district, provincial up to the national level.
There were numerous reports that some officials in the lower organs received bribes from prospective candidates to give favourable gradings.
Secondly, some applicants complained that they had been left out when in actual fact they had performed well during interviews in the lower organs.
This, therefore, means that all levels of the party hierarchy got a share of the blame in the main contenders, the Patriotic Front and the United Party for National Development.
All parties must cross-check the entire adoption process and ensure that a more transparent and water-tight system is in place to curb the proliferation of independent candidates.
There are just too many independent candidates!