HE IS NOT PERFECT BUT HH IS IMPRESSIVE
The Candidates’ Comment
Never in the history of Zambia have we seen an entire Head of State take himself on radio to interact with the public and answer some questions people have on governance issues. What Hakainde Hichilema did today is impressive. You may disagree with the content of Hakainde’s interaction with the media and the people but you cannot take away the fact that what he did today was noble, honorable and worthwhile. In his address, Hakainde says there are people even in State House who want to shield him from the concerns of the people, from what the people are saying. We agree with him and we know some of the elements that have created some barricades around Hakainde to filter what reaches his ears.
We come from a background where Presidents are protected from the truth and the general feelings of the people. We saw this nonsense in the administration of Edgar Lungu. We know that Edgar is a very good person. We have no relationship with him and when we speak of Edgar, we do so on account of the things that independent people have repeatedly said about him. Of course is not difficult to tell that Edgar is not as evil as some people want to have us believe. This is someone who spent a good part of his life living among the most underprivileged people. When Edgar was President, you could easily sit and dine with him, without feeling that you were next to someone very important occupying the highest office of Zambia. If by any chance you found yourself around Edgar, he could never project himself as a President but as an ordinary people who did not need any special treatment of any kind. In fact, the security personnel who guarded him have said before that, Edgar fed from the same plates as the very people responsible for protecting him. This is Edgar – a very down to earth person. A man who always had the interest of common people at heart.
You may ask – what went wrong? What happened for people to begin hating Edgar in the manner they do today? It is the people that surrounded Edgar. Those elements took Edgar’s consideration for granted and begun to abuse his good will of appointing them into various positions. They behaved like monkeys and begun to treat Zambia like a maize field. We all know how monkeys behave in a maize field. It is the elements that surrounded Edgar that drove him into a field of hate from the people of Zambia, to warrant his removal in the previous election.
We are happy that Hakainde seems to realize that the very people he appoints into various positions have the capacity to damage him. Already, there are crooks at both State House and the UPND Secretariat who have gone into bed with corrupt elements of this country. These jackals, hyenas have obtained proceeds of crime from tenderprenuers of all sorts who have a stake in the corruption that characterized the PF administration of Edgar.
However, after today’s events, we have no doubt that Hakainde is impressive. Of course, he has his weaknesses and we know that he is not perfect but we must not rob him the praise he deserves for doing certain things right- which other past Presidents could not do.
Our appeal to Hakainde and those close to him who wish not to see him fail is that, the people of Zambia are expectant of so many things. You may not be able to deliver every promise you made but you must not fail to deliver the simple things that the public expect from you. To fail to deliver some promises is not a sin and does not mean one’s life must end. If those in previous administrations have failed to honor certain promises, then why expect Hakainde to fulfill even things that require him to recover stolen wealth from thieves of the previous administration?
We ask Hakainde to particularly do more to deal with the corruption that characterized the previous administration. We say this because we know a number of crooks stole a lot of money from Zambians through tenderprenuership, inflating figures and even getting paid for contracts they have not honored.
A few days ago, we condemned Hakainde for moving the investigative wings to State House. We regret we misjudged his fundamental intention. Having looked at the behavior of investigative wings where prosecutions of cases are concerned – Hakainde was right – he must micromanage these institutions. We support Hakainde’s efforts to recover stolen property and we shall do our part to ensure that we expose crooks, thieves. We are saying this because Hakainde spoke about the corruption and thievery that take place in government institutions where procurement of goods and services is concerned. We must never see situations where the people are made to spend $1 million to purchase a single fire truck. Never!