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Alba Iulia
Monday, June 27, 2022

What a Wasted Presidency Indeed : A Case of the New Dawn

Columns What a Wasted Presidency Indeed : A Case of the New Dawn

By Sean Tembo – PeP President

1. Over the past couple of decades, management gurus have tried to distinguish between a leader and a manager. But l see the distinction as pure semantics. I mean, how can you manage the people if you can’t lead them? Similarly, how can you lead the people if you can’t manage them? Others try to argue that leading is strategic whereas managing is operational, but l see it as splitting hairs.

2. Anyway, it has been almost 9 months now since the new dawn ascended to power arising from the 12th August 2021 general elections, amidst much pomp and fare. To say that President Hakainde Hichilema’s momentum for reforms has stalled like the Russian invasion of Ukraine, would be an underestimation. The education grant is released on television and yet on the ground, there is no money. CDF is released on TV and yet on the ground, there is nothing. Political cadres are said to be eradicated on television and yet in the markets and bus stations across the country, they are thriving collecting illegal taxes. The much talked about IMF loan is said to be on the way, and yet it is nowhere to be seen. The rule of law is said to have been restored and yet the President calls press conferences to discuss cases which are activated before the courts and convicts the accused even before the trial begins. His legal advisers cut deals with the allegedly corrupt and then make a u-turn thereby losing credibility in the eyes of the Zambian people. Key production inputs such as fuel and electricity are increased at unprecedented rates thereby driving the cost of living through the roof, and yet the Zambian people voted them into office on the ticket or a lower cost of living.

3. The natural question which arises is why Hakainde Hichilema’s presidency is unravelling at such a fast pace? Everything seems to crumble. Even the general mood of the people out there in the streets is extremely negative, especially given the fact that HH won the last election with such a huge landslide. There is no debate that every presidency eventually unravels and runs afoul to the expectations of the people, but it is supposed to take time before people get fatigued. But in the case of President Hichilema however, it has barely been a year. So again the question is why?

4. Different people will attribute President Hichilema’s fast-dwindling political fortunes to different factors. Others say it is because he over-promised during his campaigns and is now failing to keep his promises. Others say it is because he decided to lean toward the western powers at the expense of China, which has been a major driver of Zambia’s economy in the past few decades. Others say it is because he was not ready to govern and was instead prepared for an election petition. Others say he accumulated a huge amount of liabilities from the people that funded his prolonged stay in opposition and that now he needs to prioritize paying them back before he can think of delivering anything to the Zambian people. Yet still, others say he is not as brilliant a leader as he falsely portrayed himself during his days in opposition.

5. I think all the above factors have contributed to President Hichilema’s dismal performance in the past 9 months, but still cannot explain why he is missing the goal by so wide a margin. On the contrary, l think the President’s biggest undoing is the team that he chose to surround himself with. The travesty of life is that those who have the brawl usually don’t have the brains, and those who have the brains usually don’t have the brawl. Loosely translated in the context of opposition politics, this means that those who have the courage to stand with you throughout your trials and tribulations as an opposition leader will rarely have the brains necessary to constitute your mission-critical team that is needed if you are going to deliver to the expectations of the people, once you ascend to power.

6. But of course morality demands that you repay the debt to those who stood by you when no one else could. And l believe that it is this moral burden that compelled President Hichilema to surround himself with nincompoops, all in the name of repaying their debt of loyalty. These nincompoops shape the President’s policy and approach to the economy, governance, politics, etcetera, despite the fact that the majority lack any ounce of competence in them, let alone statecraft. For instance, the President ended up with a political advisor who speaks about squeezing a political opponent on an unsecured line and even refers to and implicates the President and his Vice by name. Surely, what kind of sound political advice can such a novice offer the President?

7. The President’s legal team is another total disaster, starting from the Minister of Justice all the way to the Attorney General, Solicitor General and legal advisor. The majority of these people were personal lawyers to the President and ate off his palm. What sound objective advice can such a team give to the President apart from tilted opinions and shallow schemes that will make the President happy. Lately they decided to soak the President in the Milingo sewer, leaving him very smelly. And the President cannot see all this because he is blinded by past glory of a dream team of lawyers that managed to keep him out of prison. But is that the team that he really needs if he is going to successfully deliver on his presidency?

8. The President’s economic team is another disaster. But on this front, unlike the legal front, it is a well documented fact that the current shambolic economic policies are the President’s idea and not that of his economic team. Therefore, his economic team is only guilty of failing to advise the President against his grandiose ideas of how to turn around the Zambian economy. For instance, the President has been fixated on an IMF bailout loan as the key to turning around the Zambian economy for almost half a decade now, since the days of the Opposition Alliance when l used to interact with him. Firstly he used to argue that the almost zero-interest IMF loan money will be used to replace the expensive commercial debt that the country has, such as the Eurobond. Then when we told him that such refinancing is not possible due to IMF guidelines, he changed his argument and started saying that getting an IMF bailout loan will give confidence to our creditors that we are fiscally disciplined and therefore make the creditors develop an appetite to restructure our loans.

But of late, however, the President has changed his argument and is now saying that the creditors need to agree to restructure our debt before the IMF can give us a bailout loan. Clearly, President Hichilema is fixated on an IMF bailout loan, despite the hardship that IMF conditionalities will bring on the masses such as the removal of subsidies on fuel and electricity, despite the fact that our major export earner; copper is selling at record high prices on the world market, despite all the available evidence that we do not need an IMF bailout loan. And of course, his economic team is unable to advise their all-knowing boss. Much to the detriment of the Zambian people. What a wasted presidency indeed.

36 COMMENTS

  1. If your criticism was balanced it would have sounded intelligent and compelling. You have valid points, but your self proclaimed hate for the current leader is obscuring your viewpoints. It turns out it was you who wasted your time instead of his presidency.

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  2. Excellent accurate analysis. As I have always said SET is more intelligent and wiser than that cow boy hh. We need SET in pf asap. We need to merge with SET. This man will rule zambia soon. Shusha up0n0kwe

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  3. Distinguish reality from acting. This is a lesson for those in opposition: Find out where the current Government is getting it wrong and why without invoking emotions. 2) Learn from their mistakes without rancor and partiality. 3) Identify both external and internal influencers.
    4) Try to cooperate with sitting Government…. bringing your enemy closer…. that way you will understand how Government operates and plan ahead in the event you have a chance to run Government.

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  4. Sean Tembo deserves recognition as the biggest opposition leader despite his zero votes. As the biggest opposition leader he’s not different from the person he’s criticizing. Sean doesn’t have a team capable of delivering. If we remove Sean from his Party nothing will remain. If Sean were to be sworn in as President today he might even fail to constitute a 26 Member Cabinet. So everything he’s said here applies to him as well. That being the case, what practical solutions does he offer to the President? Is he willing to join hands and serve the nation? If he isn’t then he’s just another of the many opportunists.

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  5. But you wasted more time campaigning and getting zeros. If this will be your campaign message for 2026, you’re goona get more zeros.

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  6. Sean Tembo, among the garbage you spew, I would have given you thumbs up on this one, but UNFORTUNATELY asual, you have OVERLOADED your comments with a number of LIES and MISLEADING statements, that is HUGE !!!, and hence makes this article not fully acceptable. Although there a few points you highlighted that I would agree to a certain extent.
    Your mischaracterization of CDF funding, IMF Loans, fuel and electricity prices, etc make the article sound FAyKE, and instead exposes your personal animosity towards HH.
    Just a thought: WHAT TYPE OF A LEADER WOULD YOU, YOURSELF MAKE, IF UP TO NOW, YOU FAIL TO CONVINCE atleast 1% OF THE POPULATION?

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  7. Arm chair critics not making sense at all. Who does Tembo represent first of all? The chap is always yapping yapping but he is failing to organise his party but busy pretending to be wise. Grow your party first and we shall listen to you.

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  8. Sean Zero, I have refused to read your garbage. I am just here to tell you that yours is a wasted political expedition. You are as irritating as a green housefly, and if irritating people is your highest form of flattery, you can hug a lemon tree for all I care.

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  9. You deliberately ignored the state of the inherited economy, its effects and how much repair is required. Wasted Presidency, I do not think so. HH is only 15% ( 9 /60 months x 100 ) meaning he still has 85%. Time will tell.

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  10. Imagine wasting colossal amounts of money campaigning only to get zeros, it should hate a lot. Criticism is welcome, but you cant be criticising someone everyday, is that your day job? 2026 is far, concentrate on building your image and being constructive in your political ambitions. So according to you HH has done nothing good in the last 9 months? Are you normal or you are cynical and cant think properly? We need proper analysis of issues and not rantings as if you are pregnant. Grow up and smell the coffee Mr. ZERO.

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  11. The people have spoken,this Ba Sean Zero has nothing but nuisance value to add to our politics.
    He belongs to the same coterie of empty vessels as Tayali,Nakachinda ,Kabimba and Kalaba.

    My message to all of these chaps is;Please let Our President work.In case you have NOT noticed,he is very methodical in his approach….judge him in 2026.I suspect,you guys will have a very long wait in the “Opposition” because Bally after sanitising our political space,will rule comfortably for ten years…… I rest my case !!

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  12. You are just bitter you got bribed by lungu to ditch the alliance…see now…if you had not believed that tribal nonsense that a Tonga can never be president..

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  13. @Alinuwila,
    In that case his arguments are not valid.
    Besides, you influence the government in Parley, because thats where bills and laws are made. You don’t achieve anything by constantly attacking the president via media, these calls becomes categorized as “noises”. The issue is all the opposition party are copying Hakainde formula when he was in opposition, but point is that, HH was in a different league while in opposition COMPARED to current opposition leaders like Sean Tembo, Nakachinda, Mundubile, Mwamba, Lubinda, CK. If there were elections today against any of these leaders, HH will win.

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  14. Show us YOUR dream team. Tembo, you have a briefcase party and if you became President tomorrow, it will take you 5 years to come up with a Cabinet. So, disband your party, join the Pathetic F0 00ls and get praise from KZ.

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  15. Sounds bleak, but perhaps we should allow a year…which will clock up in…three months? Not long now! One year is enough to show whether things are picking up & will be better, or deteriorating & will worsen.

    #plant a tree please.

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  16. This is not about the zero votes that Sean Tembo got; it is about the soundness of what he is saying. In this regard, Sean Tembo comes across as much smarter than his critics here who seem to be more preoccupied with his zero votes.

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  17. Objectively, I think it is too early to write off HH within 9/60 months especially when you look at the state of our economy at the point when he assumed the Presidency. That is what makes others irritated by this Tembo.

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  18. #21  Facts
     May 19, 2022 At 12:34 pm

    “This is not about the zero votes that Sean Tembo got; it is about the soundness of what he is saying. In this regard, Sean Tembo comes across as much smarter than his critics here who seem to be more preoccupied with his zero votes…”

    Would you go to get treated by a uncertified doctor ???

    Because ST is like an uncertified doctor without patients (voters)

     

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  19. I’ve read all the comments but i did not waste time reading Sean Tembo’s article because its usually filled with hateful diatribes.

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  20. No branch chairman, no councilor, no MP, no deputy, no spokesperson, no members. How will your ‘party’ and your aspirations to be President Mr Tembo get realized if your only weapon is the key board. Somethings you say are good whilst others are completely hollow. Try to get organized and have some members with an advisory board, you are too solo for now and totally isolated for now

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  21. I think it’s inappropriate to attack Mr Tembo for his observations; a great disservice to the same person your are attempting to shield. You don’t disprove Mr Tembo’s ‘supposed’ wrong perception by insulting him! If you know better – counter his assertions with your own facts. It should never come down to name-calling & bringing up his failures at the elections. This is absolutely irrelevant and will not persuade onlookers to ignore what Mr Tembo is saying. It’s like seeking to win a boxing match by hitting your opponent in the groin when the rules clearly state you only punch above the belt! Your knockout will not impress the judges; you will be declared loser for your gimmick!

    #plant a tree please!

  22. People talking about “ZERO VOTES” have missed the point. You can have all the million votes in the world, but the votes should correlate with your performance in office. So, forget the “zeros” for a second. Rather, is what Sean Tembo saying true? Sometimes you can learn a thing or two even from your worst critic. Responding to your critic ad hominem is a cheap way of avoiding facts. Again, is what Tembo saying true or not? If the shoe fits, just wear it.

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  23. No party official anywhere, Dear Sean, then how are you going to realise your aspirations for Presidency. Just political commentary. No leg to stand on

  24. #30  THE PATRIOT
     May 19, 2022 At 4:14 pm

    “People talking about “ZERO VOTES” have missed the point. You can have all the million votes in the world, but the votes should correlate with your performance in……”

    We have seen what he is saying , which for the most part is not what others are seeing……..

    He talks about UPND caders , where are caders ???

    Fuel and food prices are shooting up in every country…………

    That is why we are saying………..

    With observations like his, no wounder he got zero votes…………

  25. Sean say as it is, this guy is a conman period. We just pray that he makes a mistake and start doing the right things. The guy has so much to pay back to those that supported him during the dry spell of his political career that he has not even started doing anything at all except creating and consolidating his empire of wealth created mainly during the infamous privatisation of Zambian assets period and perhaps inheritance. We need real democracy not a president propelled to state house by mainly one whole tribe voting for the incumbent. We need a president who wins balanced votes from all areas.

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  26. ONLY PEOPLE LIKE KAIZER ZULU CANBSEE SENSE IN SEANE TEMBO, A MAN OF GREAT HATE AND JEALOIS OF HH, THAT JEALOUS ANR HATRED WILL NEVER HELP TEMBO TO BECOM A REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL AT ALL,

  27. God bless my aso…..kikikikikiki talk is cheap…”,a great talkative is a great liar” who said these words and what was the occasion 20marks

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