ROAN FACTOR

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THE disarray in the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) is palpable.

An acrimonious internal blame guard has ensued in which the President, Secretary General and all levels of party leadership have not been spared they have received shares and varying degrees of brickbats.

Outsiders, with no love lost for the PF, have also weighed in to vent their angst and long held rancor against the party leadership. These have been more vociferous, obviously gloating over the loss and anticipating this to be the start of the end of the PF dominance in politics.

Interestingly within the party issue has been taken of the, crown jewel, infrastructure development programme which has been described as both faceless and being heartless as it has left the majority Zambians impoverished, and without adequate social service delivery support, with its symptoms being long queues at all hospitals which are often without essential drugs, ever-increasing mealie meal prices and the delays in salaries from public officers.

Indeed, every possible grievance has been incorporated in the general milieu of soul searching and blame apportionment in which the Secretary General Mr. Davis Mwila is in the eye of the storm.

When all is said and done there is a general feeling that a huge chasm exists between the leadership and electorate. That somehow the leadership has not been responsive to the concerns and wishes of the electorate.

Truly the cat is very much among the pigeons.

This was the intention.

What has been worrying however is the corrosive, abusive and outrightly intemperate language used by both Chishimba Kambwili and Hakainde Hichilema in reference to President Lungu and the  general leadership if the PF.

The language has been incendiary, demeaning and devoid of the substantive issues that should characterize any political campaign.

The issue of perceived and real corruption were of course the main pillars of the campaign.

Sadly, perception is the hall mark of campaign.

The sustained campaign of character assassination of the President, rumour and innuendo against Government policies and a continuous generalized attack on the party leadership are not only provocative but an invitation to negative reactions.

Verbal violence is just as lethal as physical violence, if not more so. While it is true that physical violence produces instant reaction, the truth is that verbal violence does both provoke instant reaction or worse still promotes a culture of animosity that is long lasting, enduring and difficult if not impossible to erase.

Although it is said that verbal bankruptcy is a reflection of character emptiness, there is a need for the party to rebrand itself, to tell the true story of its achievements, vision and aspiration in or order to counter the negative perception that is being peddled.

The opposition has made every effort to paint Zambia as a failed state, failing to recognize failed states such as Venezuela where millions of people have fled the country to seek economic refuge, inflation is estimated at 1.5million percent and shortages of goods and commodities is the order of the day.

It is also very frustrating that the Zambia law and practice appear geared to victimize the poor and politically incorrect, while protecting the rich who have pillaged and stolen from the poor.

Zambia must consider a fast track process of asset recovery to restore to the people wealth that has been dubiously acquired.

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