EUI Report Suggests Opposition Alliance Will Be 'Game Changer In 2021'

The latest Economist Intelligence Unit report on Zambia has predicted that the media reports about high level corruption in the PF will damage the party ahead of the 2021 elections.

But the EIU has retained its forecast of a victory for President Edgar Lungu in 2021 if he is allowed to stand -given strong incumbency powers.

The EUI however warns that this forecast does carry risks; for example, an opposition alliance would be a game-changer.

On its Election Watch, the EIU said assuming Mr Lungu is deemed eligible to stand again, his control over the party machinery and the support of most of the Central Committee, as well as a tightening grip on the media and state institutions, should see him secure the PF nomination - some would argue undemocratically. 

The report continued;

“But this will come at a cost; there is deep-seated public concern about corruption—for good reason—and ministers that have left office so far have chosen to expose malpractice on their way out. Citing graft is a means by which ambitious politicians leaving government can begin afresh, in opposition, with a powerful campaigning message at their disposal. As the PF shake-up continues there will probably be similar allegations, and the associated bad press would be damaging for the PF,” it forecasts.

“The same applies to an impeachment motion against Mr Lungu for gross mismanagement currently being brought forward by the United Party for National Development (UPND), Zambia’s largest opposition party; the motion is destined to fail, but will be an embarrassment to the president. Standing to gain from all this is the UPND, the National Democratic Congress—founded by an ex­ PF minister expelled by Mr Lungu in mid­2017—which is already making inroads into the ruling party’s Copperbelt heartland on an anti-corruption platform, and potentially the newer Socialist Party.”

The report also touched on any leadership battles within the PF, concluding; although open rivals for the party’s presidential nomination are still likely to be purged, the process will be erratic and will leave the government unstable and policy implementation unpredictable.

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