By Kapya Kaoma
Ignorance and pride are bedfellows!
When HH claimed to be an economist, I laughed. The poor man proudly sold his untold ignorance of the global economy with pride. He convincingly claimed to possess magical powers to resolve all the economic problems that “foolish” Lungu plugged the country into—his swearing in at 10 am would lead to the appreciation of the Kwacha to 10 to a dollar by 2 pm. Today, Mr. Hichilema is helplessly watching as the Kwacha hits its lowest since independence. Worse still, inflation is at its highest in democratic history—all under the leadership of the economist. With no IMF package in sight, no NAPSA partial withdrawal to stimulate the economy and no debt restructuring, it is not only for political reasons that HH is silent—the big man has no idea as how to get out of this ditch. Worse still, Malawi just followed the IMF demand to devalue its currency by 40, HH haw another reason to worry!
President Hichilema’s pride has served him well. From street dogs to cats to kids, nobody will ignore the fact that the HH administration only knows how to blame Lungu as opposed to govern. But Zambians don’t eat Lungu. Neither is Lungu the economy. People elected HH specifically to address the economic problems that the Lungu administration inflicted on Zambians—from tupamela to tucooking oil to unpredictable prices of gas to the high cost of living to unemployment to the weak Kwacha among many others. These problems HH claimed he had solutions to, but today, his approach is one of blame—I can’t solve these problems because Lungu caused them! As one passenger said on the Bus in Lusaka, it is like a man who marries a divorcee but keeps bl aming the X for his failure to feed his stepchildren. This is Mr. Hichilema’s problem—his Presidency is nothing but running away from Lungu’s ghost. Flying away from Lungu’s ghost is behind this mess—he is overwhemingly obsessed with Lungu, on whom he projects his own ignorance.
Ignorance misinterpreted how the global economy works to the president, but pride forced him to rule as the “I know it all” guy. Various factors are responsible for the appreciation and depreciation of the Kwacha. Yet HH’s narcissistic p ersonality made him believe that his name “alone” would make the entire world come kneeling before him. The truth is, HH is a kapenta in the Ocean of global economics—his influence on the global economy is only appreciated when he makes foolish decisions that benefits his masters—western powers and Bretton Woods institutions; the IMF and World Bank.
But his cronies are quick to absorb HH for the dying Kwacha. Yet the very intelligent people where accrediting HH with great intelligence when the Kwacha artificially hit 15 to a dollar! Some even predicted that it would soon be 14 pm—10 to a dollar. Today, however, they have returned to the popular song—Lungu! Lungu! Lungu! The reason? The Kwacha is at 23 to a dollar and counting! Inflation is at its highest and goods are plenty, but people’s pockets are empty! Is HH shamelessly watching because he is not an economist but a conman?