More splits have emerged in the ruling party, Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), as campaigning for the presidential and parliamentary elections expected by the end of the year, reaches fever pitch.
The MMD has recently been plagued by massive defections at senior level, which could deal a severe blow to its bid for a third term in office.
The race for the presidential election is now wide open as the incumbent, President Frederick Chiluba, will step down at the elections. In his place, the MMD has Levy Mwanawasa who, according to the current mood of the country, will be given a good run for his money by the leading opposition candidate, the former vice president and retired general, Christon Tembo.
The two are the front-runners but they will have to pit their strength against a string of opposition candidates, some of whom are defectors from the MMD.
As regards the parliamentary vote, perhaps the biggest challenge to the MMD will come from the country's newest political parry, the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD).
It was formed earlier this year by Christon Tembo and several disgruntled former MMD cabinet ministers and party cadres who were expelled following divisions in the parry over the failed attempt by President Chiluba to stand for a third term. This would have meant amending the constitution, which at present allows for only two terms in office.
More than seven candidates are eyeing the presidency, including hopefuls from the Heritage Party, the Zambian Republican Parry, the United National Independence Parry, and the Zambia Alliance for Progress.
The fragmented opposition has reportedly...