Andrew Banda Writes:
ATTRIBUTES OF A PATRIOT
President Edgar Lungu has transversed the country telling citizens that Hakainde Hichilema (HH) will never be president of Zambia because he is not patriotic, but let us critically analyse the two political leaders and see who is patriotic.
Unlike Hakainde, Edgar is the president of the country and he is expected to show more patriotism than any other citizen but his leadership leaves much to be desired.
Let me outline what patriotism means when you are President.
1. A patriotic president must not hate or divide the country on tribal or regional lines. A patriotic president should not retire citizens in national interest beacuse they hail from a certain region.
2. A patriotic president should learn to apologise when he wrongs citizens or an individual.
3. A patriotic president must be prudent to save national resources. For example;
* A patriotic president can and should not entertain plunder of national resources at the expense of the poor citizens.
* How can a patriotic President authorise the purchase of a private jet worth $400million when the country is going through the worst period economically?
* A patriotic president can not borrow $18 Billion and fail to supervise frugal and prudent accountability for it.
* A patriotic president can not authorise purchase of 42 second hand fire tenders worth $1million each equalling $42million. This is a total overspend of $31,500,000.00 of which could have been spent on social services. Where has this money gone?
* A patriotic president can not authorise purchase of ambulances worth $50,000 each at an inflated cost of $250,000 each an overspend of $200,000.00 multiply by 50 totalling an overspend of $12,500,000.00 which could train much needed agriculture extension officers.
* In the last two years the privileged cartels have embezzled $6 Billion which is one third of Zambia’s debt according to the FIC report, that is not patriotism. Why should money be circulating in the hands of a few individuals simply because they are biologically, politically, socially and other wise realated to the president.
* A patriotic President can not sanction the construction of a bituminous road at the cost of $1.2 million per kilometre instead of $400,000 as in other SADC countries. Where does the balance of $800,000 go?
* A patriotic President can never continue to support politically induced by-elections which are done at great cost to the nation. Government spends over $2million per by-election, this is money which should go to improving our education, health, agriculture and other needy social services.
4. A patriotic President must be always be ready to be criticised and advised as has been the case in the recent past where Hakainde advised government against export of maize because of poor rainfall and also the advice on the liquidation of Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) and currently he is advising on declaring a hunger disaster. A patriotic president should listen to such advice which is made in national interest.
5. A patriotic president should never condone violence or intimidation of citizens for political expediency.
6. A patriotic president must be always ready to dialogue in national interest. We have seen the president conveniently avoiding to dialogue by always shifting goalposts on the matter for example it was agreed that Commonwealth was going to lead the dialogue but he changed and said he wanted the church but later changed to ZCID and the NDF against the advice and wishes of other stakeholders.
7. Above all a patriotic President, cannot mutilate with impunity the supreme law of the country, the constitution.
These are just some of the issues that clearly show that the president is not patriotic to the country but to himself. That’s what saddens me when I see him going round the country talking ill about our president Hakainde Hichilema who in my view has proven beyond doubt to be a patriot.
Listed below are reasons proving that Hakainde Hichilema is a mature and patriotic citizen of mother Zambia.
1. Hakainde Hichilema our President, shows patriotism by wanting to dialogue in national interest.
2. Hakainde Hichilema our president, has remained resolute not to promote issues that boarder on dividing the country through tribal talk because he a patriot.
3. Despite election being rigged against him, Hakainde Hichilema our president ensured that in national interest his members and supporters did not and don’t cause chaos in the country.
4. Hakainde Hichilema our president at a personal level, I know for a fact that he sponsors a number of students in institutions of higher learning including the University of Zambia. I personally know one student from Eastern who is being sponsored by Hakainde Hichilema, that is a heart of a patriot.
5. Hakainde Hichilema has recently sunk boreholes in milanzi constituency of Katete district in Eastern province and has built schools in other parts of this country,
6. Hakainde Hichilema is into farming, tourism and other businesses that have created employment in Zambia showing that he is patriotic.
7. A patriot must forgive in national interest. Hakainde Hichilema our president was incarcerated for 127 days for a crime he did not commit but when he came out of prison he openly declared that he had forgiven everyone who was involved in his incarceration that is patriotism.
8. A patriot must be willing to offer advice on national matters like Hakainde Hichilema our president has done on many issues like KCM and banning of maize exports.
Hakainde Hichilema our president has done this and so much more even before ascending to high office makes one believe that he has the ability to make a good president for our country because even on a personal level he has proven to be a prudent manager of resources. People of Zambia open your eyes.
God bless you all