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Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Is HH paranoid?

Columns Is HH paranoid?

 

By Chimwemwe Mwanza

The sight of an unfamiliar aide de camp (ADC) presiding over President Hakainde Hichilema’s (HH)’s security detail at his inauguration, elicited a sharp rebuke from Raphael Nakachinda.

The charge? Nakachinda who is the former Water Development and Sanitation Minister in the PF government lashed out at HH accusing him of excessive paranoia – this as demonstrated by the President’s decision to co-opt civilians in his security team. While it may be tempting to dismiss Nakachinda’s rebuke as mere politicking, his message certainly has a tacit bearing on HH’s political judgement or lack-off.

Then amidst this moment of madness, UPND Secretary General, Batuke Imenda releases an unsolicited statement to the effect that HH won’t be taking up residency at state house but would instead be conducting his state duties from his private residency in New Kasama. This clumsy statement simply lent credence to Nakachinda’s charge.
A subsequent but balanced view from Lusaka lawyer Dickson Jere not only exposed security lapses at HH’s private residency but justified reasons for the urgent need by the President to move to State House. As a former Press Aide to the fourth Republican President Rupiah Banda, no one is a better subject matter expert on State House security than Jere – he has obviously traversed every inch of State House hence his view inadvertently served to reinforce Nakachinda’s assertion.

Here is a simple interpretation of both Nakachinda’s narrative and Imenda’s reckless statement. Simply put: HH is clumsy or at least is a reckless leader, period.
So, what then is Nakachinda’s angst? Easy to comprehend. The fact that the new President has set a high moral bar is indisputable. HH’s victory speech delivered shortly after he was declared winner of the Presidential polls was a master stroke – very conciliatory and magnanimous which is why, no mud thrown at his persona has stuck to date. He has displayed nothing but political maturity since assuming office –and there seems to be a return of decorum to the Presidency.
Enter Nakachinda – this spoiler is fast becoming a poster boy for mud-slinging politics. While his grievances border on pettiness, he seems to have an uncanny way of elevating these to national discourse; and he knows very well how to land a sucker punch, at least give him some credit. For example, look at his views on free education as espoused in the UPND manifesto.

Although reckless in the manner of delivery, he is within his right to ask Zambians to stop paying school fees – this to honour UPND’s promise of free education once it assumes power. In truth, it is UPND and not Nakachinda that authored this manifesto, and all he is simply doing is holding them to account. Yet the caveat is that the manifesto does not give a time frame by when UPND would implement its promise, and this is something that he willfully forgets to mention.
The strategy is to prey on frustrations of the struggling working class. It is this segment of a mass coalition that helped to eject his former employers from government and his hope is to use the same base to help reverse the roles, come 2026. Who knows, five years from now, the free education mantra could well become the UPND’s comeuppance – pretty much like a PF’s ‘More Money in Your Pockets’ moment.

Is HH paranoid?

Only he can answer. In the absence of a firm response, attention will shift to his actions and optics do matter in politics. But here is a critical point. HH has no obligation whatsoever to return former President Edgar Lungu’s securocrats. In fairness, they have consistently demonstrated their bias against his security interests. It is sacked Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja that sent a battalion of policemen to smoke him out of a bunker in his house – from where he was hiding in fear of persecution.

Having charged him with a laughable treason case, the same police establishment threw him into a tiny Lilayi prison cell where he spent almost 100 days in solitary confinement. It is them that consistently blocked him from crisscrossing the country in the build up to elections. It is them that denied him air permits to fly and campaign across the country. It is them that locked him at the airport for almost three hours before granting him a permit to campaign in Chipata. It is them and a part of the PF establishment that were on standby in the streets ready to pounce on him and possibly send him back to Lilayi had he lost the election – lest we forget the ‘umulandu tawu bola’ reminder issued by one losing Presidential candidate prior to the elections.

How convenient then that he should suddenly be made to feel guilty for taking responsibility of his own security detail? Mind you, the likes of Nakachinda are graduates of the PF’s vuvuzela and social media mob that easily drowns intellectual discourse. Theirs has been and is still diversionary politics whose mission has been to litigate and relitigate non-existent issues so their target or critics could be vilified in a court of public opinion. Thanks in part to an electorate weary of regurgitated lies, their luck has finally run out – hence the flood in public apologies we are reading and heading HH’s way.

Here are facts though. HH is in no way a political messiah that has come to liberate Zambia from poverty, and he needs to stop pretending as such. The election is over, he better start tapering down and focus on moderating people’s expectations. His recent statement that state coffers were empty made shortly after he announced Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane’s appointment as the new Finance Minister was not only a start but offered an indication that he is slowly awakening to reality.

And the reality is that the economic wrought presided over by PF has effectively hollowed Zambia’s economic and industrial base. For example, ZESCO’s debt alone is north of 25% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Any recall of the power utility’s loans by its lenders would be catastrophic enough to plunge the country into economic distress. Our mining industry is literally limping amid a commodities boom. But such is our reality that it seems as if the PF’s raison d’etre was to destroy every productive sector of the economy.

In addition, the Covid-19 pandemic has not only cut the global supply chain but will continue to impact key industries such as tourism. The task of rebuilding the economy will require tough choices and possible elimination of social spending – a development that will likely alienate the UPND from its electoral coalition. The consolation though is that he has both the goodwill and social capital including an emphatic mandate he could use as a buffer for speaking truth to reality.

He not only has investors waiting to deploy capital into Zambia, but the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is waiting to lend a hand. That the local currency and its dollar bonds appreciated to become the world’s best performers barely a week since he assumed office is telling of investor confidence in his regime. As a proven businessman, he sits on the right side of integrity, yet all this could count for nothing if he fails to meet even a fraction of his promises to the electorate.

Yet he needs to be consistently reminded that running a country is different to managing a business which is why no one is better placed to provide these checks and balances than the likes of Nakachinda and his ilk.

About the Author: Mwanza holds a BA Honours Degree in Journalism from the University of Pretoria, this in addition to a Diploma in Journalism and Public Relations obtained from Evelyn Hone College of Applied Arts and Commerce.

Notwithstanding that he was the most academically challenged student in his intake – which he still is, his course tutor – one Mr Hamasaka nominated him to pursue a post graduate Journalism program at the prestigious International Institute for Journalism Studies (IIJB) in Berlin- Brandenburg. He returns an affinity for anything German except Bayern Muchen FC. The only thing he supports is Kabwe Warriors and Liverpool. For feedback contact, [email protected]

28 COMMENTS

  1. Article is too negative and filled with so much bitterness and hate.
    I failed to go beyond 2 paragraphs.
    It’s too early bane to start judging even flies that land on HH’s nose.
    The man was just a president elect, who can accept to be guarded by a stranger.

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  2. #1 You are entitled to your opinion and so is the author of this article. But don’t forget that a president is public property and calling every critical observation negative is retrogressive. Examine every mud thrown at him before you discard it otherwise it may end up the way PF went.

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  3. President HH is not paranoid. He is just being cautious. The PF have never meant well for our President. Infact the first people HH should have fired are Edgar Lungu’s close security people and private secretaries at State House

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  4. Maggots like nakachinda will eventually be ignored by everyone once HEHH starts to change things around, which is soon.

    3 months down the line , the effects of sane leadership guided by the rule of law alone will be a good starting point and Zambians will see the difference before the economic effects of sound prudent management set in…….

    You see, maggots and vultures like nakachinda, tiyali and S tembo only have relevance in a chotic system. In a well run country , they will find no audience.

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  5. Mag.gots like nakachinda will eventually be ignored by everyone once HEHH starts to change things around, which is soon.

    3 months down the line , the effects of sane leadership guided by the rule of law alone will be a good starting point and Zambians will see the difference before the economic effects of sound prudent management set in…….

    You see, mag.gots and vul.tures like nakachinda, tiyali and S tembo only have relevance in a chotic system where violence is needed to silence them , like in the past regime .

    In a well run country , they will find no audience, they will be reduced to one man protests holding cardboard signs on street corners

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  6. My observation on and about the experiences of the head of state went through , it had been quite long to spend fifteen years failing to win into state house seat , but he vowed to get there because he wanted it.
    I don’t really agree that all those were targeted at him as an individual but as a politician competing with his opponent just like football you are there to dribble your opponent to score a goal that is equal to the game of politics.
    HH in the nutshell is the same politician who doesn’t want to lose the game he is keeping tight the draconian law to help him in his time of big challenges ,this will make you agree that he will not repeal this cumbersome law he will strictly keep it to his chest.
    HH has been advised to repeal this law he has kept it tight.
    HH did…

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  7. Great article.

    Love the last paragraph. Keep up the good work, good to see a nunber of articles from a competent journalist finally.

    I hold a PhD

    BB2014,2016

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  8. Very long article short of a few things. I do not believe even for a minute that what President HH is doing is devoid of guidance and regulation. With his careful hand so far I believe what he is doing appears unusual because for once he is following rule of law and is being guided by state decorum and regulation. Enough said. Next time just let us know where you are getting your opinions from in terms of support. Ati Chimwemwe — kulibe vamene vili ndi chimwemwe abale!

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  9. He is not paranoid, naive but smart. When you are dealing with crooks of a mafia state, you can’t take any chances.

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  10. @first comment, your laziness is impressive! Read the whole article and you will see the author conclude that HH is well within reasonable actions.

  11. HH is Paranoid and now you can imagine if it was Lungu doing all this….double standards indeed….HH is not respecting the office of the President

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  12. That boy has always been paran0id and mentalIy deranged. He has a lot of skelet0n in his cl0set especially from privatisati0n times. When we said he was a freemas0n, people said we are Iiars. Yet he is now wearing whlte gl0ves just as freemas0ns do .

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  13. It means all the service men, nurses and doctors who wear white gloves are freemasons? This kind of stereo typing is unfair and misleading.

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  14. Yes, paranoid and superstitious too. Donald Trump was the same. HH needs to remember that he is now state property as such he can’t do as he pleases otherwise that D word he loved using on others will come back to haunt him. Let’s give him some time, still honeymoon period.

  15. WRONG PRESIDENT INDEED….IF ZAMBIANS GO FOR ELECTIONS TODAY AUGUST 30th…very few people will vote for HH…alot of People already disappointed but they can’t voice it out….hahahaha kikikikikiki don’t say I didn’t warn you

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  16. Who is that strange body guard behind him.? Completely out of place . Chishimba Kambwili’s guard would have done better.

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  17. Nakachinda is a parasite he is still has the little that PF was paying him, am sure he got gratuity as well from National Assembly let his resources dry out he will fade away like the parasite he is.

  18. @ Don mwale i conquer with you,,, to the opposing view its not about hh this hh that eh hes wearing gloves, eh there is a cadre behind him ,eh hes not moving to state house,, all this is unnecessary and it wont score ba soon to be defunct opposition points. And to the author of this useless article, what do you think?

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  19. @Spaka and Tarino Orange both of you sound deflated,,,,haven’t you noticed that you the only ones still supporting HH…and notice how many down votes you’re getting

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  20. Ati umu Tonga takatekepo! Thanks to the 1 million + votes from the youth who expressed their utter disgust at the repugnant PF punks that polluted the corridors of power. Now the new dawn is methodically re-organizing our republic. Kachema is at the helm! Exciting times indeed!!! The rule of law is finally kicking in. Bantalamisoka naba sakalanyongo should just wait patiently for the law enforcers to knock on their doors and face the courts.

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  21. I wouldn’t want to use the word paranoid in referring to HH’s current status. But I tend to agree that the sooner our president got rid of the stranger as a bodyguard the better. This is he first time such a thing is happening in this country, if not the whole of Africa. State House certainly has security features which his New Kasama house does not have. I appeal to our president to avoid creating unnecessary controversies this time around. The nation is anxiously waiting for the appointment of our new cabinet. That should be your priority at the moment.

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  22. How do you expect him not to after what he was made to go through; the police persecuted him through the IG told him to seluka munsapato iwe and took him ku mukobeko , Zaf refused him permits to fly the airspace of the land of his forefathers , the army commander was a regional puppet. Now that he’s put people he trusts in those positions you will see him return to normalcy he will be fine taking of his gloves and in 2026 he can walk alone during guard of honour no problem .

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  23. What did you say?
    Sorry, I got lost. On one hand you talk about paranoia, then you jump to puerile Nakachinda and you finish on a completely different note about keeping promises… lost, I am.
    I would give this essay a D+.

  24. We thank God.,,,.what used to piss me off was the legalized thuggerism that was going on n regime preferred to look the other way. Yes….SANITY is here.

  25. Finally Kaizar Zulu has emeged from a Galaxy far.. far Away…Or put it simply from a parallel universe where ECL is still president!!

  26. The first impression is the lasting impression. The president wants to do things differently that he throws away protocol. Some conducts and procedures are left out simply because he thinks being a president makes you do things your way. And when power gets to your head, you forget the head depends on the neck and the first impression fails to last.

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