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POLITICAL alliances not based on shared values and principles do not work. They are simply short term marriages of convenience that are not binding on either of the parties involved.

They are agreements made in a nonchalant manner by individuals and organisations that are usually short-term. 

The parties can also pretend that the alliance is alive and lie that all is well.  But this is not so.

The much-touted political alliance between the United Party for National Development (UPND) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to all intents and purposes appears to have hit a snag.

The two main actors – UPND president Hakainde Hichilema and NDC consultant/president Chishimba Kambwili – each appear to be a demi-god such that none believes he should be subservient to the other.

The UPND/NDC marriage of convenience started with the Roan parliamentary seat by-election last year during which the two parties agreed to one field a candidate.

That privilege fell to the NDC and the UPND using its machinery on the ground helped its partner scoop the seat at the expense of the ruling Patriotic Front.

But that success appears to be shortlived from what is obtaining on the ground.

The two main partners in the alliance have this week been locked in verbal sparring since the UPND decided to field a candidate for a forthcoming local government by-election in Kitwe.

This has angered the NDC which expected UPND to support its candidate.  The NDC has this belief that it is stronger on the Copperbelt and it should be the only party to field a candidate.

The UPND is definitely still recovering from “sour grapes” arising from its experience in the Roan by-election.

What happened?

Mr Hichilema and his colleagues have never forgiven their alliance partners for not having acknowledged their input in the Roan victory.

Early this week, Mr Kambwili held a press briefing where he said his party was deeply disappointed with the dishonest behaviour of the UPND, but said they would rally behind the latter’s candidate in the Katuba parliamentary by-election.

If anything, the UPND showed its disdain for its main partner by contemptuously ignoring allegations of dishonesty by the NDC consultant/president.

It simply opted to remain mute and refused to respond to Mr Kambwili’s broadside.

No wonder that there is a lot of talk among other political contenders and observers on the fate of the alliance between the UPND and NDC.

What is coming out is what we all have believed, that the two men have nothing in common that could warrant into a strong bond other than each trying to use the other to further their political career.

Former UPND presidential adviser Major Richard Kachingwe described Mr Hichilema as an “introvert” who was not willing to work with any other political player.

Lusaka Province PF secretary Kennedy Kamba notes that Mr Kambwili was warned that his newly found “marriage of convenience” with the UPND would not work and signs are now visible that they are not going anywhere.

Mr Kamba attributed the failure by the opposition alliance to Mr Kambwili and Mr Hichilema’s egos and insatiable appetite for leadership.

It is quite an interesting match-up.  On one side is an egocentric Hichilema and on the other an intellectual midget Kambwili who thinks he is a political messiah to save Zambia.

What brings them together is their pathological hatred of President Edgar Lungu.  This kind of evil bond is self-defeating and is not a premise on which to ascend to power.

It simply would not work.

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