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Sunday, 27 April 2014

Death of MMD?

A convention is the only way to end the wrangles. If he (Dr Mumba) doesn't want, then it is better to voluntarily de-register the MMD. The party stands a better chance of bouncing back but it cannot with Dr Mumba still president.
(Spokesperson, MMD)

Leaving aside the internal politics of MMD we should all recognise that this is an economic issue. Zambia needs a strong opposition to develop as a country. A fairly obvious point that unfortunately is not always appreciated.

This is because stronger democracies on average do better than dictatorial or non-democratic regimes in delivering inclusive growth. And a strong opposition is necessary precondition to having a strong democracy.

Clearly much of progress that Zambia made during LPM and RBB years was due to the presidents who led Zambia at the time. And it is also true to say that the then opposition leader Michael Sata contributed significantly to keep them in check. 

If MMD disintegrates and leaves space for another party to emerge as a credible threat to PF that may be good news for Zambia. If the disintegration leads to even more weaker opposition then ordinary Zambians have reason to be concerned. 

The problem for MMD is historic. I am not aware of any party in Africa that has lost through the ballot box and has come back. I am also not aware of any party in Africa that has won power through the ballot box and lost it after 5 years. This point of course not just a worry for MMD but also for the rest of the opposition. 

Now if you a member of MMD and are aware of those two anecdotes, I suspect it would not be very encouraging. Which of course leads to paralysis and a self fulfilling prophecy i.e. inevitable decline. For the simple reason that most parties are self enrichment projects. Once the prospect of winning disappear, people run away from it quickly!

Chola Mukanga | Economist
Copyright © Zambian Economist 2014


  1. "I am not aware of any party in Africa that has lost through the ballot box and has come back."

    Ghana's NDC (National Democratic Congress) lost power in 2000 but won it back again in 2008.

    Mauritius's Labour Party re-took power democratically in 2005, having lost in 2000. Their MSM party had themselves re-taken power in 2000, having lost it to Labour in 1995.

  2. The National Democratic Party in Ghana, founded by Jerry Rawlings, lost the 2000 elections to John Kuffuor and the NPP. Eight years later, it regained the presidency under the late Prof. John Atta Mills.

  3. The political landscape of Zambia needs to change. As long as tribal tensions continue to play the major role in politics they currently do, then we have little hope of seeing a true multi-party democracy. That system isn't perfect but, as its been said before, all the alternatives are worse. I see a coalition as the only means of ousting PF. I just hope it is a coalition that puts petty squabbles aside and endures once elected, under whoever's leadership...HH, RB, NM, GBM?! Maybe this coalition will see fit to spend tax revenue on education, health, infrastructure....did I mention education and health yet?

  4. The author of the article must have done more research to know parties that lost power can get it back. The truth is that MMD has structures than any party, not even the PF itself. This is an advantage for then.if they can coordinate well they can win the 2016 but their leadership has to change. Bring people like Mutati.he has some integrit.


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