A concerned citizen, Alexander Vomo, has addressed a letter to President Hakainde Hichilema, expressing apprehension about the frequency of the President’s international travels. In the letter, Mr. Vomo points out an apparent inconsistency between the President’s current actions and his previous statements while in opposition.
Mr. Vomo highlights that during his time in opposition, President Hichilema criticized the former president for excessive travel, especially when accompanied by a large entourage. The letter mentions that the President had criticized the inclusion of dancers and individuals for personal purposes, such as taking selfies and engaging in personal activities like shopping.
While acknowledging that circumstances and responsibilities can change when assuming the role of the presidency, Mr. Vomo emphasizes the importance of maintaining consistency in words and actions to foster public trust and confidence. The letter raises questions about the President’s own frequent international travels in light of his previous criticism of the former president’s travel habits.
As a concerned citizen, Mr. Vomo urges President Hichilema to reflect on the significance of setting an example through his actions and adhering to the principles and expectations he expressed while in opposition. He calls for transparency and prudence in the President’s international travel arrangements to demonstrate a commitment to the responsible use of public resources and address concerns raised by the public regarding excessive entourages and personal engagements during official visits.
The letter concludes by expressing confidence that President Hichilema, as a leader dedicated to Zambia’s welfare, will carefully consider the implications of his travel practices and strive to align them with the expectations set forth during his time in opposition. The maintenance of consistency and accountability, the letter suggests, will not only strengthen public trust but also demonstrate the President’s commitment to effective governance and the betterment of the nation.
Full Letter Below
Advisory Concerning Frequent International Travel of the President
Dr. Hakainde Hichilema
President of Zambia
09 July 2023
I hope this letter finds you well. I would like to express my concern regarding the frequency of your international travels, as well as draw attention to an apparent inconsistency between your current actions and your previous statements while in opposition. It has come to the attention of the public that you used to criticize the former president for excessive travel, particularly when accompanied by a large entourage, you criticized him saying that he has included dancers and individuals for personal purposes, such as going just to take selfies and engaging in personal activities like shopping.
I write to express my concerns regarding the frequency and nature of your recent international travels, which appear to have occurred within a remarkably short period. It has been observed that in the span of a few weeks, you embarked on trips to Ukraine and Russia for a peace talk, followed by visits to Rwanda and France, where a debt restructuring deal was secured. Remarkably, within a mere ten days of returning from Rwanda and France, you have now traveled to Ghana to attend a university graduation ceremony.
While recognizing the importance of diplomatic engagements and international cooperation, the consecutive nature of these trips gives rise to concerns among the Zambian public. The rapid succession of visits to different countries, often within a brief timeframe, creates an impression that you are merely returning to Zambia to change clothes before embarking on your next journey. This perception can undermine the perception of stability and focused leadership required for effective governance.
Additionally, it is essential to ensure that the purpose of international travel aligns closely with national priorities and objectives. While the peace talks in Ukraine and Russia and the debt restructuring deal in France hold significance, it is equally vital to balance such engagements with the pressing needs and challenges faced by our nation. The public expects that your international travels are undertaken judiciously, with clear objectives that directly contribute to the welfare and development of Zambia.
In light of these concerns, I kindly urge you to review the frequency and timing of your international travels, ensuring that they are conducted in a manner that maximizes the benefits for Zambia and demonstrates a clear prioritization of national interests. By maintaining a balanced approach and a deliberate focus on addressing domestic issues, you will not only reinforce public confidence but also set an example of effective leadership and stewardship.
While it is essential to acknowledge that circumstances and responsibilities can change when assuming the role of the presidency, it is important to maintain consistency in words and actions to foster public trust and confidence. Your previous criticism of the former president’s travel habits, specifically highlighting the inclusion of individuals for non-official purposes, raises questions when compared to your own frequent international travels.
As a concerned citizen, I urge you to reflect upon the importance of setting an example through your actions and adhering to the principles and expectations you expressed while in opposition. By ensuring transparency and prudence in your international travel arrangements, you can demonstrate your commitment to the responsible use of public resources and address the concerns raised by the public regarding excessive entourages and personal engagements during official visits.
I trust that as a leader dedicated to the welfare of Zambia, you will carefully consider the implications of your travel practices and strive to align them with the expectations you set forth during your time in opposition. Maintaining consistency and accountability will not only strengthen public trust but also demonstrate your commitment to effective governance and the betterment of our nation.
Thank you for your attention to these matters. I believe in your commitment to the well-being of our country and trust that you will carefully consider the implications of your recent travel patterns.