UPND President Hakainde Hichilema
UPND President Hakainde Hichilema

By Chimwemwe Mwanza

What we know and understand about politicians is shaped by their actions precisely why posture, decorum and empathy are some of the few but greater attributes to winning a political congeniality contest.

Typical of democracies, the most ardent electoral base will naturally gravitate towards a candidate that speaks the language of the proletariat – never mind their traits. For whatever reason, grass- root voters detest those they perceive to be, arrogant, egomaniac and wealthy.

The 2012 US Presidential elections aptly exemplify this analogy. Speaking at a closed but intimate session with potential donors in Boca Raton Florida, former Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, used this occasion to scorn a large section of the US electorate, arguing they would stop at nothing short of voting for his opponent Barack Obama – this despite Romney’s spirited determination to sell his candidature.

“They will vote for the president (Obama) no matter what. All right, there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing to you name it,” said Romney.

The crafty Obama campaign team, superbly guided by David Axelrod seized upon a leaked video of these comments to use them with maximum potency. Thus, they succeeded in projecting Romney as a callous individual who didn’t care a dime about their hardships. With Romney entangled in all sorts of explanations regarding his reasoning for issuing such comments, the pendulum swung Obama’s way. Suddenly what was Romney’s election to lose, slipped out of his grasp.

And the likeable Obama drawing on his appeal among the US middle class, bested his robotic opponent to win the fiercely contested Presidential elections. There are parallels to draw from this experience.

HH the enigma

Who is HH? Like Romney, intimate details of the enigma that is HH have largely been espoused by the UPND leader’s inner circle. Dr Canicious Banda and GBM – who both served as his co-deputies, describe him as an aloof, arrogant and a self centred tribalist who will stop at nothing to win the Presidency. His failure in 2011 to maintain a political pact with the PF, designed to oust MMD from power and the eventual but unceremonious ousting from UPND of both Dr Banda and GBM have been cited as examples of his ruthlessness.

Like Romney, HH is a wealthy business man – a factor that should be counting in his favour – at least given the country’s economic malaise yet he has allowed his detractors to cast him as a rent – seeking plutocrat who is out of sync with the hardships facing your average Zambian.

The fact that he has at times engaged in petty but opportunistic political skirmishes has not helped his cause but instead lends credence to such innuendos. Otherwise why would the leader of the largest opposition party stoop so low as to deny his parliamentarians and party officials the right to interact with the ruling party or Head of State on matters of national interest? Should politics of engagement and consensus take a back seat to await his inauguration?

In retrospect, whether such misgivings about the UPND leader are borne out of fact, envy or even bitterness is hard to tell but what is poignant is that some of these charges have been laid at his feet by people that were once in his inner sanctum – more like the stab of Brutus on Caesar.
And the challenge in the court of public opinion is that, anything that quarks is considered a duck. If it has along neck, it is likely a giraffe and if it roars, it certainly is a lion. This stigma has stuck like a monkey on his back. Even worse, it’s almost as though the raison d’etre for the existence of the Patriotic Front’s (PF) propaganda machinery is to reinforce the belief that the UPND leader is in fact, a cold calculating bourgeoisie who has little interest in the well-being of Zambians.

The real HH?

It’s indisputable that the disinformation strategy has ably served to snuff his political oxygen. How so? Here we are discussing the man’s wealth when the riddle of 48 houses – without an owner or the 42 fire trucks that cost the fiscus, K13m each – ought to be the subject matter.
Even more telling, the electorate’s reluctance to intimately interrogate the real persona of the UPND leader has enabled a diversion to focus solely on perceptions. Unfortunately, this is the prism through which the grass root views HH’s political posture.
Yet, watching him speak at a few local and international platforms, both his heart and mind seem in the right place. Constantly empathising with the struggling working class, the man is nowhere close to callousness. The character traits he exhibits are those of a patriotic Zambian that is prepared to break the confines of a luxury life to heed the call to serve. His articulation of the country’s economic terrain and his prescriptive solutions are on the mark. Simply put: he seems to have a plan.
Speaking to investors at the 2018 Mining Indaba in Capetown South Africa, he sold the audience, his vision of a Zambia that is open to investment, respects property rights and above all, one in which both the international mining community and the citizenry would share in the spoils of the mining industry – which off course is the country’s economic life blood.

If anything stood tall in his presentation, his plan to stabilise Zambia’s rising debt crisis seemed tangible. And the standing ovation he received was befitting of a head of state. And for some in the audience, the apostle of a broader economic and sociological emancipation the country had been looking for suddenly showed up.Could this be HH that the Zambian grass root has been looking for?

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52 COMMENTS

  1. This is difficult to read, what the fu¢k is this, with USA stuffed in it. You fu¢king people are ruining our eyes.

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    • Please do not divert the attention form issues of corruption, 48 houses without owner, 42 million dollar trucks etc. Talking about HH’s personalities will not help the nation redress the insatiable greed for corruption by our politicians

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    • Chimwemwe Mwanza should also have delved into Mit Romney’s association with the Mormons or Latter Day Saints and what role this played in his Presidential bid and drawn an analogy with HH’s alleged association with the Freemasons and the role it has played in his presidential bid.

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    • He behaves like an alien. Out’a touch of reality on the ground.
      Another shocker awaits him.

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    • Chimwemwe I can sense your integrity and objectivity in your writeup. You have told it like it is in a very clear manner. One’s personality even in an organisational setting should not hinder his/her role performance. I have a sense HH is one who subscribes to that school of thought known as rationalism, such people unfortunately are considered alien among associates because of their codified actions, at times they are even labeled inhumane because of their ‘eyes on the prize’ attitude. In a rational system in which I suspect HH operates, the ability to perform a specific task with specialized competence is of utmost importance. If indeed 21st century economics itself is positive-rational then it just serves to say that it would be wise to elect the leaders solely on their job…

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    • …solely on their job cognition(ability to carry on the task of the presidency with precision). God Bless Zambia.

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  2. HH the enigma

    Who is HH? Like Romney, intimate details of the enigma that is HH have largely been espoused by the UPND leader’s inner circle. Dr Canicious Banda and GBM – who both served as his co-deputies, describe him as an aloof, arrogant and a self centred tribalist who will stop at nothing to win the Presidency.

    (HH) is Lucifer in the flesh. Prince of Darkness.

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  3. I enjoy reading intellectual stuff like this. It gives one opportunity to interrogate what one hears and/or reads. We must ask such questions to each and every person that aspires political office. Who are they? Where do they come from? What drives their passion for political office? What plans do they have for the masses? The trouble is very few Zambians think this way. Some fall for just the loudest politician, others the one that dishes more vitenge, others still they fall for the biggest liar. Truth is; Who are these guys (these politicians)? Thanks for the analysis.

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  4. Truth be told, HH is an able leader, but most Zambians detest the tribal followers who can cause havoc during his tenure, we have been there before;;; my junior having a cup of tea with my boss;;; a meeting where consensus was reached but key members were not present;;; team work where communication is for selected people only etc etc.

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    • Dont hide him behind a tribe. He does not own tonga tribe. We are talk about self centred know-it-all personality.

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  5. HH is by far a better economic manager. But he lacks emotional stability. This can result in political instability and set country on fire

    Even this blog sites will be shut down and blogers like kudos will be sniffed using ZICTA.

    It will be a rule of terror and the hansungule s will justify all these acts because defamation of president is a crime in Zambia

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  6. That is really Zambia for you. Capable people will always fail to reach the president. Zambia is ruled by cadre politics. To cadres who are eating are influencing all the other cadres and common man on the street.

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    • our culture is ruled by the cadre mindset, he who feeds you is always right. but what we don’t see is how evil this behavour really is. your caders are your enemies of growth, your opposition are your true friends.

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  7. Banda and GBM, opinions and perceptions cannot be used as standard for characterization HH. When he is not blocked by the powers that be, we see and hear the man ourselves. We have come to understand him this long, to a good extent. The reactions of Banda and GBM after their exit from UPND, speaks volumes in itself. Therefore, no amount of make believe writings like the one above will change our long considered opinion of HH. Hate him, Love him, for now,pound for pound, he is the best Presidential candidate in Zambia, based on his plans and vision he has for the Country. If we do not put this man in power, we will have ourselves to blem, as we continue to wallow in uncontrolled poverty.

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    • @Kitizito, people should learn to speak for themselves and not to pull everyone behind their opinion. The Zambians we know are the ones that have rejected HH five times. If HH’s votes were really stolen, the voters would have demonstrated. What has happened to all the cries by HH to the ICC, UN, Donald Trump and not recognizing Lungu sh!t? What I see is life has continued. The only worry Zambians should have in my opinion is that of not having a strong opposition due to greed, bitterness, self-centered cults and groupings. After 2021 PF will have no one to fear and can take Zambians for a serious ride.

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  8. So there is a whole delegation of people hired to write essays and thesis on HH as opposed to writing roadmaps on how to get us out of the economic disaster Lungu has put us in??

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  9. I had a chance to watch a 2 plus hour interview of HH the lunatic with Prime TV yesterday and oh my God, is this the man UPND have been over praising and rating highly before other political players? I couldnt believe my eyes and ears of what the so called UPND leader was espousing on the “state of the nation”. The only thing that made me watch that interview was to get a different perspective of our current economic standing. As usual, HH went about ranting and biting about the bush. I asked myself, is this man an accomplished economist as we are made to understand? That interview reviewed and confirmed what many believe, HH is a fluke, he is an impostor. When asked what he has to turn the economy around, the man said this: 1. “I will restructure the loans that the PF Government has…

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  10. contd
    1. “I will restructure the loans that the PF Government has borrowed”, 2. “I will put the returns from selling mealie meal and stock feed to service the loans” 3. “I will reschedule the loans” 4. “Stop borrowing”
    Now when I heard him say these points I was like, so what is his strategy to improve the economy, ZERO? By restructuring and rescheduling the payment of loans, you are NOT resolving anything at all but just postponing the issue at hand, i call this cheating! Obviously, the returns from sale of maize and stock feed cant generate revenue enough to repay our debt!
    I therefore concluded that HH is even lucky to be a leader of an opposition party because it appears he rules his party by deceit and threats. I didnt hear him explain or elaborate how he will grow and…

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  11. contd
    I therefore concluded that HH is even lucky to be a leader of an opposition party because it appears he rules his party by deceit and threats. I didnt hear him explain or elaborate how he will grow and develop Zambia in terms of Capital, Labour and Productivity NIL! I further concluded that the man is living in the past altogether because in a competitive global economy, one needs to understand that the fundamentals such as infrastructure, Health Care, Good Education System and Skills and Innovation and see to it that they take centre stage. UPND, or shall I say HH, has no vision of where he would want Zambia to be in the election 5 year cycle. If UPND and HH dont realise that Energy, Robust Communication and Roads Infrastructure are the key drivers of sound and resilient economy,…

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  12. contd
    If UPND and HH dont realise that Energy, Robust Communication and Roads Infrastructure are the key drivers of sound and resilient economy, I can guarantee with certainty that Edgar Lungu and PF will win 2021 elections squarely. In Tanzania, the current government is heavily in Energy and communications. For instance, the Dar es salaam-Dodoma Rail line project is costing that country USD3.5 Billion Dollars and you dont hear squabbles by the opposition there who understand its importance to that countries economy. Here in Zambia, the Great North Road is our key gateway road to the economic hub, the mines and the outside world but how can a person who calls himself the most capable and intelligent person in the country oppose its expansion and improvement for USD 1.2 Billion Dollars?…

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  13. It takes two to tangle – the electorate and the candidate! If the electorate is literate enough, the enlightened would choose a more able candidate. On the other hand, if what you have is an illiterate bunch of electorates, expect to get what you have! The biggest enemy of Democracy is illiteracy! From the time Chiluba abolished free education from Primary to tertiary, our population has exponentially become illiterate! For the first time, people have the excuse of school fees! The illiterate and semi-literate focus on trivialities like one’s ethnic extraction, party ligalia, money handouts, etc instead of focusing on whether someone has the vision for them or not! When you vote for the visionless, expect what you have! They will be swimming in US Dollars while you perish! As for me, I…

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    • The best is you will continue expressing your views which won’t change the results of elections and the fustruation will end in believing the rigging agenda whenever your preferred candidate looses an election

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  14. contd
    In Tanzania, the current government is investing in Energy and communications. For instance, the Dar es salaam-Dodoma Rail line project is costing that country USD3.5 Billion Dollars and you dont hear squabbles by the opposition there who understand its importance to that countries economy. Here in Zambia, the Great North Road is our key gateway road to the economic hub, the mines and the outside world but how can a person who calls himself the most capable and intelligent person in the country oppose its expansion and improvement for USD 1.2 Billion Dollars? Can I have some witnesses please? So, HH whats your development plan? You have failed to sell yourself. Infrastructure development and growth is a basis for job creation which President Lungu is apparently pursuing and we are…

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  15. Don’t be economical with the truth 1. It’s not only the PF pact he went into he also went in with FDD etc but lost again 2. It’s not only Canicious and GBM there was also Kapita never mind others who have walked 3.discipline should not equal dictator

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  16. ZAMBIA does not need a messiah.
    Zambia needs UNITY and TEAMWORK.

    STOP insulting our intelligence.
    We should all be allowed to contribute to a plan that moves us forward.

    GOVT is not a one man SHOWBUSINESS.

    ZAMBIA will FOREVER be ruled by the best TEAMWORKER.

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  17. Unfortunately in Zambia like many other places on the African continent, we vote with tribes and not our heads. HH is not president because of his ethnicity not his lack of capacity or ability. ECL understands it better, that is why he was able to state that HH will never be president. It will take a strong force to see good in humanity as a whole and not in parts of it like tribes that make no sense for such a complex organised organism like a human being. With low literacy levels, high poverty levels and the general ignorance, tribalism will be a tool of choice for many politicians, and they know it will always disadvantage HH.

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  18. Seems like almost no one has any alternative answers to issues HH raised.He was detailed and clearly stated his points. Give us specific answers to the debt crisis,high unemployment levels,fire tenders,corruption,48 houses,defence forces tenders etc We are tired of the tribal trash coz its not solving any our problems

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  19. As Zambians, we are wedged between a rock and a hard place!
    PF are jokers and play politics of appeasement to their cadres and hence the mediocrity in the rank and file of the executive hierarchy. We, the masses, are the losers.
    Ba opposition Kuwayawaya fye!
    They are obsessed with so much hatred they have abandoned their collective responsibility of providing checks and balances!
    This economist now talks the kabova language because he has been advised that that is the only language Zambian voters understand. Then you have the next best thing after Sata – CK! My oh My, he has picked up the expiered template MSC was using on LPM. But with good reason the people of Lubwa Ward in kitwe and else where showed him that civility is the way!

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  20. Are you suggesting that people vote for him because they are literate.

    And illiterates fail to see sense in him

    In line with that chavum, pemba, nega nega is home to literate populace.

    While the rest of us are illiterate

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  21. We are all suffering under lungu and honestly we need change. Intact PF cadres like dandy crazy are the most hit by poverty.

    I have lots of Tonga friends are most of them are comfortable, much more that PF noise makers

    The reason they keep rejecting hh is fear. Upendi cadrs are are going round threatening that you will see in 2021.

    Even hh himself looks bootled up

    You can’t win an election that way

    Come 2021 he will end up saying they ve stollen my vote again

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  22. He’s so desperate that come 2021 he will be prepared to kill when he smells another defeat. What sort of man is this who never smiles nor ever cracked a joke. Let alone see the inside of a barber shop.

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  23. Not convincing, we know how HHs political career began in 2006, trib.ally displacing Mazoka’s trusted lieutenants.
    He just doesn’t give me confidence.

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  24. He appears to do well on the international stage because the script is done for him by his sponsors aka the real people who want your wealth. He is a sponsored opportunist.

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  25. Be simple and who is this HH who failed to articulate himself when he went for interviews at BBC main platform.

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  26. Nothing but a tribal and U5 modus operandi.

    Deny and frustrate development in the so called strongholds and burry ya head in the sand and hope for votes in the 6 provinces where development is happening.

    Only a cult leader thinks that way, and only delusional sympathizers have hope in such mediocre modus operandi.

    Weird to the core.

    Thank God the majority can read between the lines. Fili ukotuya.

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  27. i,can not waste my time to read such a nonsense article. Malinso,even your writing does not inspire me or anyone. you people today who are praising ecl u will be the ones throwing stones at him. let us praise where a credit is suppose to be.

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  28. let a spade be a spade. malinso, and chimwemwe mwanza and other people insulting hh are not feeling the economic effects? go in the kombonis and be honest they will tell u there piece of minds u will be disappointed to what they say about the govt. u did that to ftj,rb. u looked down on mwanawasa and he worked. corruption is so high. only 3 laders have done significant things for zambia,kk,ftj and mwanawasa the rest palimbe even sata nothing he did. u can build a dictator not a leader. please be real in your writings. and donot be blindfolded. be objective. wait and see it for yourself. i foresee what is happening to zuma happening here. u are praising someone instead of working prudently corruption is the norm of the day. just that us zambian we are tolarent but time will tell. kk was…

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  29. The Zambians we know are the ones that have rejected HH five times. If HH’s votes were really stolen, the voters would have demonstrated. What has happened to all the cries by HH to the ICC, UN, Donald Trump and not recognizing Lungu sh!t? What I see is life has continued. The only worry Zambians should have in my opinion is that of not having a strong opposition due to greed, bitterness, self-centered cults and groupings. After 2021 PF will have no one to fear and can take Zambians for a serious ride.

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  30. this man hh has outsmarted the political arena in the country. if he was not he would have been thrown into the dust been long time back. first and foremost no one can raise a proper blame on this man, he is not a liar, not corrupt, uses his brains, proven works and backgrounds and he has a clear vision. his life is simply, down to earth many opponents and those chancers cant compare to him, no wonder these foolish charecter assasnation leveled against him . anyway good for helping him to win the 2021 presidential elections viva hh viva upnd.

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