Saturday, June 15, 2024

Hichilema’s biggest opposition is not a political party; it’s an alert and engaged citizenry – Sishuwa

Share

The biggest opposition that President Hakainde Hichilema faces is an alert and politically engaged citizenry, not an organised party, University of Zambia lecturer Sishuwa Sishuwa has charged.

In a series of tweets yesterday, Dr Sishuwa said an alternative political formation will emerge as an organic process and should be the least of the President’s concerns.

“What Hichilema must fear most is already in place: the voter. Discontent will not wait until there is an effective opposition party to harvest it!”, he wrote.

Below is the controversial cartoon that Dr Sishuwa posted on his Twitter page and the several tweets that accompanied it.

“I hope [President Hakainde] Hichilema understands that he was simply the conduit of the revulsion against [forner President Edgar] Lungu and that his support is tenuous. The 1.8m voters who supported Lungu, despite his incompetence and the damage he inflicted on Zambia, are hardcore supporters who are unlikely to leave PF.

In contrast, many of those who voted for Hichilema are not his supporters but people who were disillusioned with the status quo. These are the ones who decisively swung the vote in his favour. Their support in future elections is not guaranteed; it is subject to good performance.

I get a sense that having been elected with a popular mandate, Hichilema thinks there is no credible opposition to unseat him. In my view, the biggest opposition that he faces is an alert and politically engaged citizenry, not an organised party. The latter will rise organically and should be the least of his concerns. What Hichilema must fear most is already in place: the voter. Discontent will not wait until there is an effective opposition party to harvest it!

Please note that we all want Hichilema to succeed. Even when we criticise his leadership actions, that is our goal: to help the president do better, for Zambia’s sake. The praise singers who think that we criticise HH because we don’t want him to succeed should note this point.

In opposition, Hichilema promised to reduce the cost of fuel for consumers, if elected. In power, he has increased it. This turnaround undermines public trust in elected officials. Unless he wilfully lied to get power, the President owes Zambians an explanation, apology, or both. There is need for transparency, accountability and clear communication from the Government.

If the President has realised that governing is not simple, or that things are worse than he knew when in opposition, then he should simply state so. It is arrogance to keep quiet. He owes Zambians an explanation for the turnaround on a clear promise. I have no obligation as a voter to start looking for excuses on his behalf.

I worry that many Zambians are still ridding the wave of euphoric victory over the incompetent PF and Lungu, and cannot seem to understand why anyone should not join this emotional trip of victory. Even governments rely on that emotional trip to disappoint on campaign promises. This should not be the way. It is important to remain vigilant and hold our public leaders to account. Injustices and governance slippages do not go to sleep because we are celebrating anything!

There was a similar exhilaration in Zimbabwe when Robert Mugabe was overthrown. Now it is clear that little has changed, and in some respects things have got worse. It is important to step back. Even traffic lights turn red after facilitating the responsible motorist’s passage!

Lungu and the PF needed to go. No question about that. Now it’s time to hold our new leaders to account, even if we may have helped in one form or another to put them there. I also think that disagreeing with a person when they are wrong is the best help we can ever offer them.

What I am seeing today is a dangerous trend of people getting worked up when wrongs, committed by the new administration, are pointed out. Some have already canonised the new President.

We are now being educated by our new leaders, such as the Minister of Information, to dust up our understanding of the law and the Constitution to ‘correctly’ enjoy our human rights, or else the law will visit us. Argh, this is tragic and unacceptable!”

28 COMMENTS

  1. This is deep and very informative writing if only we can read and listen. He takes no sides but down the line to inform Zambians on how we should CR and hold our leaders to be responsible and be accountable.

    41
    1
  2. Great economist this HH guy, tried, tested and proven. Zambia will be happy at the end of the five years. Medicines are usually bitter when you are taking them, but once you get better, you look back and say it was necessary

    4
    33
  3. #no 2 – Tango – I totally agree with you and love the way you have put it – ” simple but effective”

    SO WHY CAN’T THE GOVERNMENT DO THE SAME – EXPLAIN IN SIMPLE LANGUAGE FOR THE MASSES TO UNDERSTAND? THEY MUST DO SOME SENSITISATION TO THE MASSES AND EXPLAIN TO KEEP THE CALM. THE PR TEAM HAS A LOT TO BE DESIRED FOP EXAMPLE ANTHONY BWALYS WAFFLING AWAY ;;;;

    maybe you can write an article ;;;;;;

    7
    5
  4. Good morning Dr Sishuwa, This is a well written article. Your analysis of the current situation is point-on. My hope and trust is that HH will take heed. We all want him to succeed but I think his arrogance and pride may consume him.
    By now I would have expected him to call a press conference and explain to Zambians how different the reality is on the ground compared to what he perceived governance was whilst he was in opposition. Zambians are good people, they will understand him and give him full support. Mr President, your change of course on fuel prices may have been inevitable given the fundamentals you found on the ground, but please don’t send your assistants to spin on this issue. Take the bull on its horns and Zambians yourself especially that you are on record, whilst you were…

    19
    1
  5. Mr Sishuwa is by far and away the most lucid and eloquent political commentator on Zambian affairs at work today, at home or abroad. I will never vote for PF under any circumstances but l agree with him on the need for President HH to address the country on the issue of fuel increment. Mr Anthony Bwalya or the Minister of Energy are not the ones who promised to reduce fuel. It was Bally and he is the one who should explain the change.

    17
    1
  6. I’m one of the 2.8m voters. I very much understand the decisions that this new dawn government has undertaken so far. People who have not been to school cannot understand. They will only do so when benefits start manifesting later on. Let’s judge this government properly in 2026. Even the Mwanawasa administration people came to appreciate his policies during his second term when the dollar hit the lowest at K3(K3000 unrebased)

    3
    31
  7. He used to warn Lungu and his PF. They never listened. He’s warning Upnd now and the PRAISE SINGERS are saying something else. It’s not removing a political party from power that will make people happy; no it’s the return to the good old early independence days that will make us happy. We don’t want your complicated macro language.

    22
  8. “There is no obligation for voters to start looking for excuses on HH’s behalf.”
    We are all aware that HH clearly promised to reduce fuel prices, end loadshedding as he claimed we were exporting electricity and he also promised to lower the cost of electricity.
    A complete u-turn is unnaceptable, at least not without an explanation. He promised free education and perhaps on that score we can say he has tried.
    The worry here, as Sishuwa puts it, is UPND supporters clamoring to explain economics to us and all ministers claiming subsidy benefits are going to their ministries.
    HH needs to make a presidential statement on this one, you can’t delegate this very important issue to the seemingly clueless Chanda Chushi.

    18
  9. This is an accurate and insightful analysis from Sishuwa. In informal interactions with friends and relatives– at braais, funerals, weddings, matebetos, etc. – my conjecture is that more than seventy five percent voted for HH and UPND. And yet those I interrogated were not even UPND members or supporters. Most revealed that theirs was a protest vote against perceived PF’s misrule, corruption, and rampant cadreism. For the younger generation whose vote tilted the scales in favour of HH and UPND, most were swayed by promises of free education, employment creation, and meal allowances. So, the sustainability and firmness of support for HH and UPND will largely depend on how he fulfils the aspirations of the youth and protest voters.
    ,

    20
  10. Shishuwa you have spoken your mind as always, but rest assured BMW suckers will be on your throat for this.

  11. I supported UPND and HH cause of there promises, but its like they are doing the opposite if thing continues like this will vote them out, us as citizen we have no patience we want to start seeing thing happening not ati suffer for short period that not what we voted for we voted for change.

    11
    1
  12. Senior Citizen December 21, 2021 At 7:58 am
    I’m one of the 2.8m voters. I very much understand the decisions that this new dawn government has undertaken so far. People who have not been to school cannot understand. ….AWE BA SNR CITIZEN, EVEN A VILLAGER UNDERSTANDS. DO NOT UNDER RATE PEOPLE. ARE YOU ONE OF THE EDUCATED ILLITERATES? DO NOT INSULT THE CITIZENS THAT THEY HAVE NOT BEEN TO SCHOOL.

    11
    3
  13. Sleepyjoe,you have a point my brother but i feel you used a rather strong term.
    Lets try and be sober as we debate if this is debate anyways…………..Am commenting for the first time but Dr Sishuwa has raised critical points that require attention especially by powers that be….am humbled!!!!

  14. Great if there is now an alert and engaged citizenry due to increased freedom of speech and expression enabled by the UPND. The UPND should align the way they engage with an alert and engaged citizenry arising from their achievement in increasing the freedoms which were subdued under the previous PF regime. Effective communication based on transparency and accountability is key for UPND to maintain and restore confidence on the citizens. The UPND needs to also show and demonstrate the direct benefits to citizens when public funds are not stolen or misapplied as was the case in the previous regime. Openly show the disadvantages of some measures such as removal of fuel subsidies against the advantages that will accrue to citizens in the short-term, medium term and long-term.

  15. Senior Citizen @6. When you say “people who have not been to school cannot understand” are you implying that the author of the article, Dr. Sishuwa, has not been to school??
    You see, that’s exactly the point Dr. Sishuwa was raising. For upnd supporters, Bally is always right. He cannot be wrong. They have already stopped listening, just like PF did.

  16. This is why UNZA is neglected by those in power. Instead of being strategic, you are dishing out secrets which will make the government put even more pressure on the students. Our leaders are allergic to switched on citizenry. They like village chickens even though the village ones are now proving to be a formidable force too. Let them play their games, we are watching.

  17. Don’t play around with politicians. Minus 4 and plus 4 mean the same to them. Next time you hear of a 12 % salary iincreament, expect a 12% loss value on your salary. The only thing they do is to promise you heaven towards next elections. We were promised of k250 per bag of maize Next year. Just wait.

  18. This quasi political lecturer is just mad because he was not given a job in HH’s government. Sir, you are not qualified in years or experience. You are just one voter and the rising kwacha says otherwise. Go back to South Africa or join Lungu. Your big words mean nothing

    10
  19. Shishuwa is just bitter because Chipo dumped him. He is also bitter because HH did not offer him a job. Get iver it. You are one voter and the Kwacha says Bally is doing well

  20. Well written article: The decision to remove the middle man and increase the fuel prices will be beneficial for everyone in the coming years. This is a smart move someone with real experience advised him. This is the only way to curb the high dollar exchange rate. I personally think we will benefit later. Give him a little bit of space to try to fix the damage the PF has caused.

  21. Jigga Kayama Simangulungwa (formerly Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans Honeybee) Jigga Kayama Simangulungwa (formerly Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans Honeybee)

    I couldn’t agree more with Dr Sishuwa. This man is the most articulate and eloquent social and political analyst currently have in Zambia: balanced; honest and to the point. God bless him.
    I’m just laughing at the PF sycophants who are now agreeing with him but they viewed him as their enemy at them.

    2
    1
  22. Jigga Kayama Simangulungwa (formerly Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans Honeybee) Jigga Kayama Simangulungwa (formerly Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans Honeybee)

    I couldn’t agree more with Dr Sishuwa. This man is the most articulate and eloquent social and political analyst currently have in Zambia: balanced; honest and to the point. God bless him.
    I’m just laughing at the PF syc0phants who are now agreeing with him but they viewed him as their en€my at them.

    2
    1
  23. Well articulated, how I wish the new dark and other governments would learn something from this article.

    Sishuwa is biased, he is neutral now because he hasn’t been given any position in upnd. If he is given a position toady, he will start supporting whatever HH is doing.

Comments are closed.

Read more

Local News

Discover more from Lusaka Times-Zambia's Leading Online News Site - LusakaTimes.com

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading