By Sean Tembo – PeP President
1. Economy: Putting Zambia on an IMF programme is bad for the country. Already, electricity and fuel prices will go up. Additionally, giving the mines a mineral royalty tax holiday when copper prices are at an all-time high and yet we go to borrow to fund our expenditure needs is not only incompetence but it is treasonous. Hichilema’s allegiance to Zambia should be subjected to a detailed investigation. Score = 0
2. Rule of Law: Hichilema only respects the Constitution when it favors him. Forcing people to take the vaccine is a breach of the constitution, removing former civil servants from payroll before their benefits are paid is a breach of the constitution. Creating new ministries and allowing them to start operating before they’re ratified by Parliament is a breach of the Constitution. Score = 0
3. Professional Civil Service: Hichilema replaced PF cadres who were DCs, with UPND cadres. He then proceeded to replace career civil servants who were PSs with his party cadres. Score = 0
4. Cost of Living: The prices of goods in shops are still very high and Hichilema has not put a single plan on the table of when or how these prices will reduce. Score = 0
5. Wastefulness: Despite claiming that the coffers are empty, Hichilema has been very wasteful with public money. He has employed the largest number of advisors than any other President, with a lot of duplication. For example, he has a Special Assistant for Economic Affairs (Jito) and also an Economic Advisor (Pamela), for the first time almost all ministries now have two Permanent Secretaries just so he can accommodate as many of his UPND members as possible. Score = 0
6. National Unity: Hichilema’s narrative that the previous administrations neglected Southern, Western and North-Western provinces has divided Zambia more than ever before. He keeps saying that he is uniting the nation and yet his actions are diving us. Score = 0
7. Arrogance: Hichilema lacks respect for the people that elected him into office. We understand that he might be facing challenges to fulfill his campaign promises, but he needs to explain that to the people in a sober manner. His statement that jobs don’t come from rocks is an insult to Zambians. Score = 0
8. Foreign Trips: We understand and appreciate the fact the a President has to travel to other countries to market Zambia, but in the case of Hichilema, it is his only preoccupation. So far, his 5 foreign trips have not yielded any tangible results in the form of a Trade Agreement or Foreign Direct Investment. Score = 0
9. Decision Making: Hichilema’s failure to decide on Government’s direction regarding the KCM liquidation and Mopani purchase agreement are causing huge uncertainty in the mining sector. Given the importance of mining to the overall welfare of our economy, we would have expected him to act quickly. But hey, even simply picking PSs and DCs took him 3 months. He is very slow for someone who came from the private sector. Score = 0.
10. Setting Priorities: We know that there are always competing needs when you are running a country, but certain things require to be prioritized. For instance, Hichilema has no excuse for failing to raise K318 million to pay farmers who sold maize to Government in Eastern Province. This is an urgent matter and any President who knows how to prioritize national matters should have addressed it. Besides, it is only one Province that is waiting to be paid. Score = 0
Overall rating of Hichilema’s 100 days in office is 0/10.