Sunday, April 14, 2024

President Hakainde Hichilema’s refusal to shift to State House Costing the Zambian Taxpayers

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By Edwin LIFWEKELO, PF Deputy Media Director

PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema should climb down from his perch of pride and save the nation millions of kwacha in taxpayers’ money.

He should heed to the pleas by different stakeholders, including some of his closest cronies, and shift to State House.

His continued stay at his personal residence, Community House in New Kasama and daily trips to State House is a huge cost to the nation.

It is also a security risk as well as an inconvenience to the over 50 police officers who are diverted from normal duties to the degrading route lining.

Now, even police officers who are providing him with security are grumbling bitterly. He should be worried.

Recently, a chief inspector plucked up enough courage and opened up on the toll the President’s refusal to shift to his official residence is taking on him and his colleagues.

A complaint from an officer of that rank and his plea to the President, which was widely circulated on social media, should send a clear message to the President and his lieutenants.

“From the time President Hichilema took over the country’s highest office six months ago, we as police have been subjected to abnormal route lining hours,” the officer wrote.

“It was normal for him in the first two months because we thought he would move to State House but it seems he is not moving to State House now or anytime soon,” he complained.

We sympathise with our hard working security officers who are being abused daily to massage the ego of one man.
What is worse is that the allowances the route liners used to get in the past for such special duties have been scrapped. This is not only unfair but also cruel.

If the officers are being denied what they deserve as a cost saving measure then it is hypocriticy of the basest kind.

It is a joke. How much is governnent spending on fuel for the presidential motorcade in one month as he commutes to and from work? Can that be compared to the meagre allowances the government is stealing from these voiceless men and women in uniform?

Also, we sympathise with ordinary citizens who are inconvenienced and forced either to wait or use alternative routes every time the busy road is closed to provide safe passage for the President.

President Hichilema should have compassion for motorists, commuters and these civil servants who are made to line up on his route as early as 05:00 hours every day.

He should demonstrate good governance by helping the government to save the millions of kwacha it is spending on his daily runs between Community House and State House.

The explanation by the Vice President Mutale Nalumango and other leaders in the United Party for National Development (UPND) that State House is not befitting President Hichilema’s standards is an insult to the people of Zambia.

If the property, which housed previous presidents, is indeed not fit for his standards then he is not a servant of the people as he claims to be. A true leader is seen by the way he relates with the people he leads, by his humility.

Zambians, through the governnent, has provided President Hichilema with a house from where to govern them, but he says “no, this is not good enough for me. I will be ruling you from my expensive private home’.

What message does that send to the people who put him in office? That State House is too small or too dirty for him.

We share the suggestion by the aggrieved police officer that if the President insists on living at his private house then he should use a helicopter instead of closing such a busy public road four times every day. It’s also cheaper.

Prudent use of public resources demonstrates good governance and is a sign of good leadership.

Therefore, President Hichilema should humble himself and immediately shift to State House. His pride has already cost the nation, whose economy is on life support, millions of kwacha. The resources could have been channeled to the improvement of the economy and social safety nets.

Zambians have been patient enough.

19 COMMENTS

  1. This is sickening, just who the hell does he think he is? And where are the Executive, Parliament and Judiciary to stop this blatant stupidity? The cost of these commutes must be docked from his salary, otherwise he must summon Godfrey Miyanda to bring his Sangomas to exorcise State House of all demons including Lungu’s duet ones of thieving and alcoholism.

  2. That’s why I have given up on our political leaders. When Sata didn’t move to State House, Upnd said a lot of things especially that man Ackson Sejani ( I call him Upnd Nakachinda) until Sata caved in and eventually moved.

  3. Some Zambians are really jokers.
    It is common knowledge, that ECL spent much his last years in office residing at State Lodge . His wife was residing at state house alone fighting hard to save a marriage which was breaking down.
    At state lodge ECL , Findlay, Moosho , Milingo and his corrupt crew were plundering state resources, having wild drinking parties and womanizing.
    Furthermore, ECl’s kids were hosted in a third home with state security and at the governments expense.
    So PF sympathizers , should be the last people to talk about cost saving and complain about HH residing at the community house.

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  4. #5 If Lungu did it so it’s okay if his successor does it? I thought the change people asked for was to correct the wrongs that may have been committed by Lungu?

  5. He is living in his own house. There are so many VIP security detail techniques that can be used to protect the commute of the Head of State without compromising his security while at the same time not inconveniencing the public. Mungatifunse if you have run out of ideas. Stop using the police with 60s strategy.

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  6. Go and ask those who entertained sangoma’s at night, what they have left there while calling other satanists.

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  7. When we said these guys were a childish lot some people did not believe. The UPND cadres then such as Mweetwa where singing songs for Sata to move to state house just two months into his presidency while the state house was being renovated. Hakainde has been president for nearly eight months now and his cadres are deafeningly quiet. This hypocrisy will see the UPND shown the door sooner than later. They need to rise to the occasion. Stop the blame game and start developing our great nation.

  8. It’s difficult to understand the President’s apparent refusal to reside at state house. Whatever the hurdle, it must be truly insurmountable for him to bear. And if it weren’t for the mounting costs and disturbance of his daily trekking to & from state House, I would say let the man have his way!

    #plant a tree please!

  9. Instead of writing all these useless articles you should proposing with your MPs to amend the constitution nothing in there states that a head of state has to move house.

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  10. If state House is unoccupied currently, can I move in and stay rent free?
    That way our President has an excuse for why he can’t move in.
    Anyways, ndiyo za nthwilo cook on cook on, ndiyo za nyemba cook on cook on…

  11. Please ba HH alone, he knows what he is doing, you cannot tell him what to do. Focus on your things or programs instead of gossiping about the President.

  12. Please ba HH alone, he knows what he is doing, you cannot tell him what to do. Focus on your things or
    programs instead of gossiping about the President.

  13. The president is changing slowly. He now does not wear those 10 pairs of gloves he used to entertain from presidential nomination day until recently.
    #13 Tarino: The Zambian good book only allows the repblican president to either reside at state lodge or state house.
    #08 Spaka: Why doesn’t the president get his salary? Any worker is free to do anything with his earnings, but it is illogical to refuse to be paid and use it to scapegoat.

  14. Well. I’ve heard so much about that house. The state House is like a house of horror. Just too many unverified stories about the place, like the body of the late Kebby Musokotwane being discovered in the deep freezer when KK was still living in the state house.

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