Mobilising Membership Versus Campaigning
PF Secretary General Davis Mwila last week revealed that the PF had embarked on a programme to distribute over 18,000 bicycles across the country in preparation for the 2021 general elections. Mwila has defended the move however by stating that this is not a case of the PF campaigning for 2021 already but rather an exercise in mobilising members.
“We are doing party mobilisation in all the provinces. It’s not a campaign; this is not campaign time. We are going round mobilising the party…yes. So we are preparing our officials for 2021, we are giving them the tools for them to become mobile. We have been doing the indoor meetings,”Mwila explained.
However, as some public commentators have noted, the exercise may prove of limited value and even damaging if the PF concentrates its energies too much in the area of give aways at the expense of the business of government, and in particular securing economic turnaround in time for the majority to benefit in terms of jobs and lower prices. While the bicycles will no doubt be welcomed, countrywide improvements in the state of education and healthcare are more urgently required.
Meanwhile, others have questioned where the money is coming from to fund such extensive distribution. Earlier this week NAREP leader Elias Chipimo was quoted as follows: “It is clear that the amount of money that is being amassed is being amassed purely for the sake of ensuring the perpetuation of power of the current PF leadership. There is probably a connection and we should be asking ourselves ‘what is the source of these funds that are able at this stage to generate so much that they can start to produce such lavish campaign material?’ We should also ask ourselves what the PF’s focus is if at this point in time, three years before the next election, they are already in heavy campaign mode.”