Tuesday, June 25, 2024

President Hakainde Hichilema should step down

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By Venus N Msyani

President Hakainde Hichilema has failed. He should step down, go and work on his weaknesses, and come back in 2031 if he will want to.

On the overall Zambia economy, we cannot ignore the war in Ukraine, COVID-19, and other global forces including the recent inflation that hit the United States of America. They do play a part in Hichilema’s failure.

However, it doesn’t make sense to attribute most of Hichilema’s failures if not all, to that. The mealie meal crisis Zambia has started witnessing, the country had enough maize in stock from previous harvests.

Hichilema and his administration decided to export the surplus forgetting about the day beyond tomorrow. Now Zambia has started rationing mealie meal, which has ended in price increases and mealie meal shortages.

It is very possible soon the new dawn administration will start importing maize or mealie meal. The very maize Hichilema allowed to be exported.

What is worrying is the fact that it will be very hard to find enough white maize. Zambia is the only country that produces a lot of white maize in the region. Meaning yellow maize mealie meal, which Zambians are not used to, will soon flood the market.

That is when this will start making sense to Hichilema. It will be a time when even those the president calls useful idiots will start demanding his resignation.

If not served nshima, a typical Zambian feels not eaten. Meaning the number of Zambians going to bed with an empty stomach will increase. The number of children crying at night because of not having eaten nshima will increase. Also, it means the number of people experiencing sleepless nights will increase.

It has nothing to do with global forces but President Hichilema’s selling habit. He should step down and go and work on it.

Selling things to solve problems is not a good character for a leader. Hichilema seems to disagree. Senior government officials bought vehicles he feels too expensive. Hichilema has ordered them to be sold.

A lot of rural areas clinics, schools, hospitals, and other public institutions are in serious need of vehicles. Why not donate, rather give such vehicles to such institutions in need!

This Hichilema selling habit takes me back to assets declaration. He has refused to declare his assets and liabilities publicly. Hichilema may be aiming at selling state prosperities to businesses he has an interest in.

He claims he has already declared his assets and liabilities. If it is true, it shouldn’t be a problem to do it again. Finding it difficult to do it again makes Hichilema a suspect. Hence not fit to be a leader.

Adding to that, democracy is shrinking, inflation is back to double digits, cost of living is rising, caderism is back, freedom of expression is under attack, and political violence and harassment are back.

Would not finish if we started talking about these one by one. President Hichilema has failed terribly in all.

He managed to remove what most Zambians considered the cruelest government in Zambian history. It is a powerful legacy that accumulating failures have started overshadowing.

Resigning could save Hichilema. On top of that, it will be a fulfillment of a better Zambia that starts with a leader who is quick to admit failures. President Hakainde Hichilema should step down.

24 COMMENTS

  1. “If it is true, it shouldn’t be a problem to do it again. Finding it difficult to do it again makes Hichilema a suspect. Hence not fit to be a leader.”
    This quote here speaks volumes. It should be of concern that our president looks at government as a business that must make money only. This capitalistic approach to governance is bad leadership. The author gives the maize export as a good example. HH argued that smuggling to DRC should be considered as business. Against common sense (and I assume advice from advisors) he allowed our stock to finish and now we are importing to export.
    The VX argument was done on expenses basis and did not take into account our terrain and roads and the fact that ministers need to travel outside of Lusaka often.

    • In terms of its spread around Zambia, the Catholic Church is second only to the government itself. How does its clergy and sisters travel around the country without Toyota Landcruiser VXs?

    • It is possible to scale to most parts of Zambia with cars other than VXs. However, these large cars make it easier to go to places with roads which were last tarred in the 60s.
      If there was need to do anything, I suppose keeping 20 of these cars at cabinet office would suffice. They could be used if ministers need to visit rural areas.
      Selling all of them will haunt the gvment at some point. Besides, conditions of service allows senior civil servants to purchase items being disposed of. I won’t be surprised if the same ministers end up buying the cars.
      They should all go for open public auction.

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  2. ….

    Those are your flawed assumptions………

    The majority of Zambians don’t see it that way……….

    As will be proven in 2026…………..

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  3. This article does not make sense…what has yellow maize which hasn’t even been imported got to do with elections in 2026???
    Another sensational title for a mediocre article lacking any real objectivity.

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  4. This article doesn’t make much sense & seems to be outdated or out of touch with reality. We farmers are just finishing harvesting the new maize crop. Yet the author thinks we are headed for worse times. How?

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  5. The truth will be reviewed soon if really the leader’s we elected are angels to save and improve our nation with other countries to admire or there positions are too higher than they expected,.if so let them sincerely ask the excuse to leave there positions and continue there areas of experience

  6. The crypted declaration of assets by the President boggles my mind. He’s done this for the obvious reason, he is doing deals in the background and we are watching.

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  7. Ba Venus please just go and sit down bringing issues that even yourself can see your friends are day and night working on. @Jairos brilliant comment.

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  8. This poorly scripted article wouldn’t make its way in serious media. Mr Editor, save us the agony of having to make head or tail of some of the articles you publish.

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  9. There is an inevitability to the results of putting the country manager of PWC/Coopers and Lybrand in charge of the government.

    Perhaps this is the time to ring in Direct Democracy. People vote on policies, not parties or Presidents.

    Are you for or against neoliberal policies like – free trade, privatization, commercialization of state functions? Are you for or against Zambian State ownership of the mines? If so which mines or all?

    If you vote 1 policy at a time, you get a lot more choice.

    Also, the only real definition of Democracy is that the government does what the people want it to do.

  10. The government is broke. Lungu and the party of fools borrowed more money than Zambia has or can pay. All of the money Zambia borrowed is not generating new revenue. It was put in roads and infrastructure that Zambia will be unable to maintain. To raise money for basic government functions, HH is exporting electricity and maize. He also made the mistake of lowering visa fees, reducing the taxes government was collecting from certain activities, naively believing that this would generate more tax revenue. That being said, I grew up in Ndola and saw the smuggling of maize to Zaire with my own eyes. The people of the copperbelt took the maize produced in Southern Province and resold in Zaire to line their own pockets, while Zambia suffered shortages

  11. There are some fools on this forum who have commented that people in some of these provinces should be able to sell maize to foreigners as they want, because it is the product of their own labour. If that became the standard, you fools would not eat meat, or have maize, because we in that South could become much richer by selling all the white maize we produce to South Africa, and all of our beef to Europe for hard cash that would come directly into our pockets. However, we are not made that way.

  12. continued…We have always put this country first, such as being the first people to revolt against English colonialism; selling 10 000 of our cows to sponsor Kaunda and UNIP’s trip to negotiate independence with the English. Monze district alone at one point produced 80% of all the maize in Zambia…We could have exported all the coal and electricity and left everyone darkness. We did not do this but put the country first. This is why it annoys me to hear fools here defending smugglers because they speak their languages. I would never support a Tonga who exploited other Zambians. I am a Kenneth Kaunda man through and through.

  13. NOT ONLY BY NSHIMA/BWALI ALONE SHALL ZAMBIANS LIVE. DIVERSIFY THE DIET. PERIOD.

    THE FOOD PROBLEM IN ZAMBIA IS NOT ABOUT “MAIZE” IT’S ABOUT FOOD DIVERSIFICATION.
    WHILE MAIZE HAS A LOT OF NUTRIENTS, IT SHOULD NOT BE THE ONLY SOURCE OF OUR EXISTENCE. ‘WE ARE WHAT WE EAT” . PEOPLE SHOULD BE TRAINED TO EAT DIFFERENT FOODS. THE NUTRITION COMMISSION OF ZAMBIA SHOULD STEP UP THEIR ACT. THE MESSAGE IS SIMPLE. EAT A LOT OF VEGETABLES, FRUITS, PEANUTS, MEAT, FISH, CHICKEN AND ONLY A LITTLE NSHIMA. PROBLEM SOLVED. IT’S THAT SIMPLE.

  14. Since we began to have Presidents none of these breed have ever stepped down. When one of them steps down it will be an earthquake

  15. Since we in Africa began to have Presidents none of these breed have ever stepped down. When one of them steps down it will be an earthquake!

  16. What did the author smoke before writing this article? Lot’s of senseless assertions and assumptions. Like donate VXs to government institutions in rural areas. My foot. Does he how many sensors are that machine and how much it costs to service. The VXs will be wrecks in 3 months from overloading and transporting charcoal on the horrible rural roads. Roads in rural Zambia are very bad. The have turned into gullies. Go there and see for yourself

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