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Thursday, September 22, 2022

Like his predecessor, President Hakainde Hichilema may leave office more affluent than expected

Columns Like his predecessor, President Hakainde Hichilema may leave office more affluent than...

By Venus N Msyani

President Hakainde Hichilema may leave office more affluent than expected if people choose to remain quiet during his presidency.

Being in the highest position, it is acceptable for a president to leave office richer than he came. The problem is the abnormal increase in one’s wealth during the presidency, which is the case with some Zambian presidents.

It can be prevented and it starts with standing up for accountability with the sitting president’s finances. Thumbs up to people demanding President Hakainde publicly declare his assets and liabilities.

For the first time in Zambian history, people have heard a sitting president being asked whether he has relinquished interests in his businesses or not.

Some people have concluded that President Hakainde Hichilema is being singled out. It is not true. Asking such a question is part of standing up for accountability with the president’s finances or wealth.

We never heard journalists asking former presidents whether they have relinquished interests in their businesses or not because none of them had business as highlighted on their CVs. In other words, none of them was a businessman.

The highlight on former president Edgar Lungu CV is lawyer, the late Michael Sata and Rupiah Banda politician, and the late President Mwanawasa’s CV highlight lawyer.

Go on and do research on late President Fredrick Chiluba and Kenneth Kaunda. Will notice both were not businessmen.

Hichilema is the only Zambian president whose CV highlight is business. He is not just a businessman but a very successful businessman who has revealed that he maintains interests in his businesses.

If not checked, President Hichilema will leave office richer than expected. Not only richer but the richest in the region. His waged war against the rich (clique of thieves as he calls them) explains everything. Hichilema is the only person freely making money in the country now. The clique of thieves is scared as is a target for Hichilema’s fight against corruption.

On Friday, September 9th during the official opening of the Second Session of the Thirteenth National Assembly in Lusaka, Hichilema announced that going forward, people will see a different approach to the fight against corruption.

“We promised to fight corruption and we are fighting corruption. You will see what happens going forward.” President Hichilema said.

Ironically Hichilema is saying get ready for a more selective fight against corruption. Unless he publicly declares his assets and liabilities, he cannot fairly fight corruption. He maintains interests in his businesses. Hichilema needs to explain how he is dealing with conflicts of interest.

Sad to conclude that corruption is fighting corruption in Zambia. As we speak Hichilema is getting richer. Like his predecessor, he may leave office more affluent than expected if we choose to remain quiet.

To fight a sincere fight against corruption, Hichilema must publicly declare his assets and liabilities. Together we must continue to demand.

21 COMMENTS

  1. Me thinks the deal reached with lungu to relinquish power included not revealing lungus declared wealth after he left office……..

    However, statehouse have stated that HHs declared wealth is at ECZ……….together with lungus……

    If you want to know their declared wealth, petition the declared wealth of all presidential candidates as recently ruled by the courts against ST……….

    So there is no way lungus wealth will remain a secreate while people demand HH to reveal his………….

    Well played statehouse……

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  2. The Law provides for those that assume such Constitutional Office to declare their assets. So it’s not correct that he’s being singled out. He’s the President. We wouldn’t ask him if he weren’t

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  3. Why don’t these people crying for HH to declare his assets petition ECZ for all presidential assets of 2021 elections…..???

    What are you afraid of ????

    The declaration of assets of the president is at ECZ , inexorably tied to lungus declared assets…………..

    State has told you where to find those declarations……

    The fight against corruption can not go on without the revelations of assets declared at ECZ…………

    Watch the public outcry for lifting lungus immunity after those revelations……

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  4. Biased, silly article! So simply because Lungu’s CV read “Lawyer” there was no need to have him questioned about his “wealth” and/or businesses he may have been engaged in? Very shallow!

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  5. Can we please focus on developmental issues and not HH, I know the African mentality where Africans think the President is the Alpha and the Omega, a president is just like you and me, there is absolutely nothing special about any President, he is born like you and leaves the world just like you and me, in Africa, the backward thinking is that the President is every thing. That is why In developed countries where civilsation took route earlier than us in Africa when it is raining head of states there lift their own umbrellas, here it is a taboo, so you find that when people wake up here articles are placed on a mortal guy called a President than on developmental issues

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    • HH being the President is inevitably part of our developmental issues. Dont dictate the agenda like some Second Republic autocrat. The presidency is central in all developing nations’ agenda

    • Lifting their own umbrellas is the only thing you have observed?
      Didn’t you see a bodyguard there taking the bullet meant for President Ronald Reagan? What does that say about how they view their President?
      Labeling African endeavors as “backward thinking” and elevating the actions of whites doesn’t show you are civilized. It shows you have an inferiority complex

  6. “…If not checked HH will leave office richer than expected…”This has always been the mentality of jealous people and that of witches and wizards.The solemn desire to pull down any previladged individual to our level,I have always been against demands for any one to publicly declare their wealth.There are law enforcement agencies tasked to question and investigate sources of wealth without becoming personal.Every person’s
    net worth increases and decreses almost every day.You surely do not expect HH to be declaring his net worth every day and explaining how and why the increase or decrease.Even public officers have a right to privacy unless they choose to devulge on their own volition
    Please stop wizardry

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  7. Let us wait for a new chairman of the Electoral Commission of Zambia. We can only pray that it will be a person of integrity like judge Esau Chulu but UNLIKE judge Esau Chulu, a person with backbone. We need a chairman of ECZ who will be an independent operator not afraid for his job. Such an one will be able to publish all the declared assets of politicians. I pray for such an one by the authority of God.

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  8. I detect the politics of ENVY from the writer of this article.
    So what if past presidents were not business men. They clearly did not have HH’s acumen, skillset and drive.
    HH is a self made man who achieve his wealth through hard work and honesty and not depending on others.
    If you and others spend more time learning of how a man from humble beginnings while still a young became self employed and then became a millionaire, the country would not be in the dire state it is now and where he has to use all his skills to rescue it.
    Regarding his businesses I am sure there are managers together with his wife and children who will run them. With his busy schedule he would not have the time to run them.
    Remember he has banned his children from working in government.
    Please also remember,…

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  9. @Daniela You have no brains. Civilisation was earlier in Europe?? Where did you do your studies? Civilisations arent confined to one area of the globe. There are different types of civilisations all over the world. Some people advanced faster with a particular type of technology but that doesnt mean they are more civilised. Conquering other people doesn’t mean you’re more civilised

  10. What a refreshing comment forum without the hyena Kaizar Zulu who has gone into hiding after pouring insult after insult on the president and the first lady all in the name of freedom of speech. Saulosi and others be warned. Don’t be carried away by emotion because you lost the elections. Insults are NOT free speech. Soon Kaizar will be answerable for his foolishness that he mistook for courage.

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