“Time and again, the UPND has gone on a campaign drive to preach and promote, hate, violence, and tribalism. They have encouraged their supporters in their strongholds to blatantly demean and insults the head of state and this show of disrespect was exampled by their leader HH who arrogantly tried to block the presidential motorcade, an act that is treasonous in many if not all countries”
By Dr. Joze Manda
For many years a myriad of opposition political parties in Zambia have seemingly faced some special hurdles in their quest to win elections and take hold of the reins of power.
Indeed, the number of electoral alternations – whereby a ruling party loses an election and the opposition becomes the new ruling elite – has been increasing in Africa, but this can not be said for Zambia, as the main opposition, the UPND is more concerned at character assassination and propaganda than offering alternative views and solutions to many challenges that Zambia is facing.
The biggest problem with UPND is that it thrives on propaganda and promotes negativity on the economic performance of the country instead of building the same country they wish to govern. UPND has the tendency of painting Zambia black to the outside world with the misconception hope of receiving sympathy, which might work to their advantage.
Time and again, the UPND has gone on campaign drive to preach and promote, hate, violence and tribalism. They have encouraged their supporters in their strongholds to blatantly demean and insults the head of state and this show of disrespect was exampled by their leader HH who arrogantly tried to block the presidential motor cade, an act that is treasonous in many if not all countries.
In the recent past, we have heard how HH and his supporters have gone full throttle on social media claiming they are popular and they will win the elections in 2021 at all costs and they lose, then it means elections have been rigged, what kind of thinking is this? HH and his supports must be reminded that Zambia is democratic country and elections results must be accepted as presented, there is only one winner and many losers.
In all fairness, I think it’s time that we now heard from the silent majority on the other side – those who will not be voting HH. Those who understand that we must avoid Mr. Hichilema from landing in Plot 1 under any circumstances.
Firstly, let’s forget about the ridiculous things being said and focus on what’s true. Accusations like “HH is a satanist” or a “free mason” are absurd, and it distracts us from focusing on the urgent and legitimate concerns about Hichilema’s background.
What we really need to be worried about is the established history of HH and his known character flaws, his party’s ability to legislate in parliament, his history of selling (and then benefitting from) Zambia’s national assets, his foreign financing, tolerance for corruption, and yes, this one you know well, his issues surrounding tribalism and unity.
Zambians Don’t Like HH
There is a very simple reason behind HH’s failure as a politician – people don’t like him; they don’t connect with him.
A Zambian president must have the common touch. He or she may hold the highest office, but they remain a public servant, one that should have empathy for the people, to know how to listen, to deeply care for their welfare, and to put the needs of the nation above themselves and their family, tribe, and province.
Hakainde Hichilema regrettably does not possess these qualities. I have spoken to numerous people who spend the day in his team, with full access to him, and very few if any have managed to forge any close personal bond. Hakainde Hichilema is cold, very cold. He does not easily experience joy or affection. He has no sense of humor to speak of – his smiles are always forced for the camera, and his laugh is stiff and manufactured.
HH’s reputation for bullying behavior
There is nothing wrong with being shy or unfriendly if this happens to be your personality. In fact, some people may like the idea of his “always business” demeanor. But a lack of interpersonal skills for a president can be very dangerous – it leads to poor decisions.
For example, a few years back HH pulled Andrew Banda onto a stage to attack his own father. What kind of man exactly would try to use somebody’s own son against him, as HH did? This is just politics – you should be able to win because you are the better candidate – not because you have to rip apart somebody’s family. Ask yourselves: what kind of man does that?
No Constitution under HH
We must not allow Hakainde Hichilema to become president because his party lacks the parliamentary seats to pass laws, and appears to have no interest (or ability) to build coalitions with other parties. What this means is that the UPND will be extremely unlikely to pass a new constitution, especially one that would place certain limits on presidential powers like the defunct bill 10
With no new constitution, and a vengeful party seeking to “sort out” all kinds of imagined historical grievances and bent on seizing more and more power, HH would be overwhelmingly focused on keeping UPND in power beyond 2026 – perhaps for the next 100 years to come.
Violence, Repression, and Division of Zambia
As a young and untested leader who is deeply unpopular among voters in several key provinces, Hakainde Hichilema will be likely to unleash the Public Order Act, and send the police to beat his opponents into submission.
He has said that he would not use the Public Order Act, but he has not said that he would abolish it. The reason why is that he plans to use it, and to use it very aggressively to consolidate his authority.
There is also HH’s known record of intolerance for criticism freedom of speech – we have seen every now and then how UPND cadres have savagely attacked many citizens on social media who have different views to theirs
*What kind of unity do we imagine will result of this? Instead under an HH presidency we would have a deepening civil conflict, a country deeply divided along regional and tribal lines, and an increased possibility of the use of violence by the state against citizens. That’s why it is so hard to believe HH when he talks about unity – he simply has shown no level of brotherhood with other Zambians, instead placing the Tonga’s first and everyone else second, if you doubt me, list the top 10 leadership of UPND and you have the answer.*
Zambia is not for sale
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, we must be very concerned about Hichilema’s history of selling out Zambia’s national assets and then benefiting from their sale. I am not saying that I have evidence that the sales of Lima Bank, Intercontinental Livingstone, or Roan Antelope Mining Corporation of Zambia (Ramcoz) were illegal – but I am saying that there are lots of unanswered questions.