THE ugly scenes that characterised the Patriotic Front (PF) under the reign of Wynter Kabimba as Secretary General seem to be on the horizon and if leaders think this is nothing, then let them wait until mock coffins start flying around Lusaka and members start hacking each other.
Watching the venom in the videos that have been released by different groups within PF of insults that have been allowed unabated, one would not be far from the truth if he speculated that these will soon lead to physical fights unless the party put an end to this.
From our point of view, there is no single cadre who can insult with such impunity without the involvement of the leaders. There are people out there who are behind these videos. These cadres are only doing what they are told to do because they have been given the backing. They have been told exactly who to attack and why.
What started with just Innocent Kalimanshi’s group producing videos to attack other party members with impunity, is slowly becoming a norm with the Intercity and team Luapula group entering the fray and this tells you trouble is on the horizon and unless the PF leadership acts decisively now, there will be casualties.
Watching these videos that have been going viral, one can easily see that this is all about obsession for power. Some senior members in PF are scheming day and night to wrestle power at all levels and probably including the presidency and are leaving no stone unturned while the party leadership is suspiciously quiet over these insults.
From a public point of view, the PF stands to lose. This is an election year and the PF must never be carried away by the incumbency status to think that the opposition cannot win the August elections. The public perception from these detestable videos the cadres are producing have the power to sway perception and decide the outcome of the election results.
This must worry the PF even more that this is coming before the party even announces the date for the convention. Thank God the advent of the COVID-19 which has grounded most of the activities that need people’s physical presence to a halt because we think the PF will also have a virtual convention like the UPND because if it were not so, bringing these three warring factions together would spell doom for the party.
We take no pride in lawlessness whether at party level or otherwise and if the PF wants to continue tarnishing their image, let them continue giving these cadres the leeway to continue insulting each other.
It is clear that power-hungry elements are on the loose, scheming day and night to get what they want while using cadres as fronts. We have said this time and again that no cadre can go out there throwing stones at opponents unless someone in the party has told them to do so.
When Kalimanshi started producing these videos, we thought it was just one of those incidental developments but the fact that others have joined the bandwagon and are breathing fire with brimstone against their opponents within the same party, tells you a lot about what is happening on the ground.
The PF has a choice now to end these fights or go into the August elections as a fragmented lot and the worst thing to do is to go into a fight and underrating the opponent. We have seen this happening even in football, where the top team is beaten by the team lurking the relegation waters and the reason behind this is complacency, the feel-good feeling of winning; blinding oneself that others cannot win in like-manner.
They can decide to take it or leave it but the truth is that these monsters the PF is allowing to continue insulting each other will create discord in the party and this has the potential to cost them an election if not handled properly.
The culture of insults is un-Zambian and we wonder why the Ministry of religious Affairs is quiet over this issue yet they are too quick to attack other people who do the same things. We think this ministry will be of value to this country if it preaches about national values in an apolitical manner.
Turning a blind eye because it is the PF cadres involved is not helping matters. While this is a political party issue, insults being offloaded on social media are accessible by all and have the capacity to corrupt morals regardless of which political party one belongs to.
The same lightning speed at which the ministry acts on other people must have the same speed it reproaches PF cadres but it has been religiously quiet. Kalimanshi did not start producing those videos with insults yesterday. He has been doing so for a long time. Now, we have others joining the rot but the ministry is quiet. How special are these?
The ministry must level the playing field. What corrupts morals does not choose who has produced it and so, let them live up to the expectations of the Zambians and act with impartiality unlike only springing to action when it is not the PF involved.