THE ceremonial desperation antics and lawlessness exhibited by the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) during election time never ceases to amaze us.
It is just about one and half years ago when UPND cadres impounded Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) trucks in Kafue en route to Lusaka on suspicion that they were laden with pre-marked ballot papers from South Africa.
As it later turned out, the claims were not true. The trucks carried plastic chairs and not what they had alleged.
Yesterday, their historical nature of raising false alarm repeated itself just a few days before Zambians go the polls.
This time round, eight newly acquired ECZ trucks were intercepted twice, in Sesheke and Livingstone, by UPND cadres on allegation that they carried pre-marked ballot papers.
As you would surmise correctly, there was nothing of that sort. The trucks carried nothing at all. It was yet another failed mission.
The failure by the UPND leadership to tame their cadres on many occasions is what makes them unreasonably dare the Zambia Police officers like they did yesterday.
We find the conduct of the UPND cadres in Livingstone yesterday, as they insisted to have the said ECZ trucks searched, quite unacceptable.
And we think the provincial party leadership should have acted more honourably to avoid the confrontation that ensued between the police officers and the cadres. We do not think that the police officers would have detonated teargas canisters had the UPND cadres not resorted to riotous conduct.
The UPND cadres must desist from displaying delinquent behaviour to play victim whenever corrective measures are taken.
Indeed, history has a tendency of repeating itself. And with such unfolding events, one thing is certain – that the UPND might be headed for the same vicious experience.
It makes us wonder how the UPND would do things in the same way and anticipate different results.
All such allegations against the electoral body, in the past, have proved blatantly wrong. Did they not cast aspersions on the capacity and credibility of Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing House to print this year’s election material? They have been proved wrong!
It is not the mud-slinging against the ECZ that will sway the minds of the electorate to vote for the UPND on Thursday next week.
If anything, the deliberate scheme to demonise the ECZ has boomeranged to their disadvantage because the electorate are left to wonder why they appear to have taken such a despondent approach to each general election.
Voters are not as dull as the UPND seem to imagine. They are able to see through such naked schemes which are meant to incite chaos in an event that they lose the imminent general elections.
Instead, the UPND and other opposition political parties participating in the advent general elections ought to know this basic truth – it is the trusted and reliable leadership qualities exhibited prior to the polling date as well as the well packaged and marketed message to inspire confidence and hope that ordinary people’s lives shall become better that matters.
The Government’s move to reopen Mulungushi Textiles plant in Kabwe yesterday following President Edgar Lungu’s pronouncement a week ago, for instance, is a good gesture to economically empower the people.
With 900 people already employed and another 3,000 more in the next few years, is definitely the much desired hope that our people look forward to.
Is this not bettering the lives of the people? Has President Lungu not fulfilled the promise he made? Does this not demonstrate he can be trusted to mean what he says?
He has walked the talk and this is the leadership that inspires confidence among our people. Some of the opposition leaders have a lot to assuage their marred reputation.
Otherwise, anything that falls short of this standard, in our view, may as well be archived.
It does not meet the expectations of what should convince the electorate to give them the mandate to govern this country.