By Venus N Msyani
President Hakainde Hichilema, nicknamed the modern Vasco da Gamma by the opposition PeP leader Sean Tembo, was in South Africa recently.
The purpose of the trip has left people confused. Initially, media had reported that the president was travelling to South Africa to meet the South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa. The current Chair of the SADC on matters of politics, defense and security cooperation.
It was reported that the president was travelling to go and discuss security and trade between the two nations and the region at large.
While the president was in South Africa, the opposition Socialist Party president Fred M’membe alleged that the main reason HH travelled to South Africa was to launch a book written by his friend named Greg Mills, the CEO of the Brenthurst Foundation.
Forgetting about the nature of the media, United Party for National Development (UPND) tried to refute the allegation.
After realizing that media is everywhere and will not hesitate to report HH presence at Greg Mills’s book launch event, the government changed its tone. Started arguing that there is nothing wrong with the president attending his friend’s book launch.
Whether the president travelled to meet president Ramaphosa or attend his friend’s book launch, it makes no difference. The trip was too long.
South Africa is a 45minutes travel from Lusaka. Meaning, in this modern world one can live in Zambia and go for work in South Africa every morning and return in the evening or vice versa.
In one day if not hours, president Hichilema could have met president Ramaphosa, attended his friend book launch, and returned back home.
Why did he choose to spend two days in South Africa? Could it be leisure! This is the person who continuously accused the previous government of overspending on unnecessary trips.
His trip to South Africa was necessary, but it should have been a day trip to save Zambia some money for medicine in hospitals and other country need. As an economist, the president knows better.
By the way, here is a little bit about the author. He is not affiliated with any political party. Some accuse him of being opposition sympathizer.
They are right, the author is called to promote fairness. He reflects on actions, decisions, language, and behavior of politicians in the country.
He is among the people who made sure that UPND was treated fairly when it was the main opposition party. Those who are now accusing him of being anti-UPND are invited to revisit the Author’s work from the beginning.