Wednesday, June 19, 2024

President Hakainde Hichilema’s Begging Mentality is Hurting Zambia’s Development, Says Sean Tembo


The President of Zambia, Hakainde Hichilema, has been accused of having a “tipempako thandizo” mentality by Sean Tembo, the President of the PeP party. According to Tembo, Hichilema and his cabinet have a default mindset of begging for donor assistance instead of attracting foreign direct investment, facilitating partnerships between Zambian and foreign companies, or developing foreign markets for Zambian products.

While the UPND administration under President Hakainde Hichilema has been facing criticism from various quarters, with accusations ranging from economic policy blunders to grand corruption, dereliction of duty, regionalism, tribalism, dishonesty when dealing with the Zambian people, and wastefulness of scarce national resources, according to PeP President Sean Tembo, there is one particular mischief that has significantly contributed to the suffering of the Zambian people in the past two years, and that is a begging mentality by the President and his Ministers.

Mr. Tembo criticized the President’s reliance on foreign donations, stating that the default mindset of the administration is to beg for donor assistance instead of attracting foreign direct investment or facilitating partnerships between Zambian and foreign companies. He highlighted a comment made by President Hichilema about the presidential jet, in which he said he would never use the jet because it is too posh and he would look awkward when he goes to ask for grants (donations) from other countries.

“This supposedly innocent off-the-cuff statement spoke volumes about the President’s mindset and his idea of bringing development to Zambia. Evidently, his default mentality is not to attract foreign direct investment (FDI), or develop foreign markets for Zambian products, no. The President’s default mindset is to beg for donor assistance,” Mr. Tembo stated.

Mr. Tembo also criticized the Minister of Finance’s recent statement that there is a lot of sympathy among IMF officials to release a $188 million disbursement despite the country not reaching a debt restructuring agreement with its creditors. “For a country that is endowed with so much natural resources, l find it very painful that our stock-in-trade should be sympathy. We have an abundance of arable land, stable climate and fresh water to undertake any agricultural endeavor that we want. We are blessed with huge tourism potential, well-stocked game parks, central location in the region to be a transport hub, and an abundance of mineral wealth. And yet, the only thing that President Hakainde Hichilema and his cabinet see fit to offer to the outside world is sympathy? Tipempako thandizo? Tulelombako ubwafwilisho?” he said.

Mr. Tembo also pointed out the dangers of relying on handouts and sympathy from foreign donors, stating that “whoever gives you assistance will own you and can make you dance to their tune whenever they feel like. There is nothing for free in this world.” He questioned the morality and patriotism of the President and his administration, stating, “Mr. President sir, where is the morality in what you are doing? Where is your patriotism to this nation? Better still, where is your common sense sir?”


  1. People like Sean Tembo can be utilised by any ruling party. Dont just see him as opposition. He raises very valid points

  2. A beggar is better than a thief.

    Nothing wrong with the President asking for assistance in Zambia’s efforts to restructure and resolve it’s debt crisis which thieves from the former regime created.

  3. Our president overated himself while in opposition. This is a lesson for those in opposition. They should not concentrate on opposing the ruling party but must learn on why things are not working with the current government.

  4. Ba Sean, no one stops you from attracting investment into Zambia. Otherwise wait for 2026 when we vote for you to lead Zambia. Every adult knows that managing a home is not the same as admiring to have one

  5. Hakainde didn’t campaign on more begging…he is doing exactly the opposite of what he promised Zambians…I thought HH was going to be like late Pombe Mangufuli who tried to build Tanzania with money from within the country…..he rejected 10 billion dollars kaloba


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