Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Is it time to subject Hichilema to a psychiatric evaluation?

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By Sishuwa Sishuwa

Responding to the growing complaints of debilitating hunger from starving ordinary Zambians during his recent press conference , President Hichilema justified the hunger as an act of God, claiming that ‘hunger is Biblical’. Given that he seemed genuinely serious when saying this, Hichilema’s response suggests one of two possibilities.

The first is that Hichilema may have lost his marbles – the implication of which is the need to take mental health seriously, including when it manifests its symptoms in public leaders whom we often think are immune from such illnesses. We may be dealing with a president who needs help, not ridicule. A careful examination of some of his recent public speeches reveals a worrying series of irrational and uncoordinated statements. Even at the same presser, Hichilema accused himself of “working hard” at a time when the country is sinking with major crises. This includes crippling power outages lasting as long as 20 consecutive hours a day.

He also inflicted praise on himself for being the first president of Zambia to meet King Charles III, the British traditional leader who ascended to the throne a year after Hichilema’s election. Hichilema, who appears to consider this meeting as an achievement, is overlooking the point that if Zambia’s previous presidents did not meet Charles or his predecessor, it may be because Charles was not yet King, or that they did not suffer from elements of inferiority complex that appear to emerge from his excitement about meeting the British monarchy – an excitement that he, perhaps without much awareness, openly exhibits whenever he meets white people. The only conclusive way we can rule out the possibility that Hichilema has lost his marbles is to subject him to a psychiatric evaluation that will establish if he is mentally sound and simply remarkably out of touch.
The second possibility is that Hichilema, in claiming that hunger is Biblical, may have been trying to conceal his administration’s policy failures by formulating a false narrative on the subject – that a natural disaster has caused hunger, electricity and water shortages, not the ruling party in general and its hard-working president in particular – and using the media to induce the public to accept it. We live in a world where, increasingly, what counts most is no longer recognising the “concrete reality” but building “narratives” around the actual reality. For inept liberal leaders and their supporters, winning this war of “narratives” requires hoodwinking ordinary people by manufacturing false public consciousness around the challenges that confront them.

By claiming that hunger is Biblical and a result of supernatural forces, Hichilema is (ab)using faith to shield himself from blame and completely divert people’s attention from the concrete reality that hunger is a human-made challenge, and that its occurrence, specifically in this case, is a consequence of the persistent failure of the government to plan better, ensure food security, and provide affordable food. The obvious fact of the matter is that the present government has been hugely negligent in relation to food security. In pursuit, recklessly, of the policy of liberalisation of maize trade, the Hichilema administration sold over one million tonnes of maize and mealie meal – all from the sufficient stock that was left behind by the previous administration – to other African countries when both commodities were already out of reach for Zambia’s starving population. He has also presided over a chaotic distribution of farming inputs that has badly affected agricultural production in recent years. Hichilema knows all this and his claim that the current hunger is an act of God is a result of either wilful and unforgivable dishonesty or a futile attempt to escape responsibility for his government’s policy failures – and whichever it is, neither is acceptable since it does not resolve the hunger problem.

I must concede that the warped and depressing thinking that human challenges like hunger are acts of God or nature is not restricted to Hichilema alone; it is a belief that is prevalent among Zambians today. I do not know if it is the dominant and degraded Christian theology and practice (which is largely pacifist) or a history of personalised rule, or perhaps both, that seem to have disrupted ideas of cause and effect among many Zambians. People do not attribute outcomes to their likely causes, but often to supernatural phenomena. They do not recognise their own agency and the agency of those around them. In removing human agency from the actual causes of hunger, Hichilema is exploiting the current national psyche and character structure of the ‘typical Zambian’: unquestioning, passive, cowardly, zombie-like, easy to manipulate, naive, superstitious, and worshipful of authority. I am curious to know if Hichilema thinks that countries elsewhere in the southern Africa region that also experienced drought but remain food secure are much more in God’s favour than Zambia. 

There are times when I feel that Zambia must kill God, if we are to make progress. When God dies, we will take His place – our success or failure resting squarely on our shoulders. For the reality is that as long as our lives and how they turn out remain God’s will, we abdicate responsibility for changing our plight to that God. It also means our leadership, in our minds at least, is God’s choosing. So if that God gives us a Hichilema, we cannot question His wisdom, notwithstanding Hichilema’s obvious poverty of anything remotely resembling the virtue to be associated with a benevolent deity.

Source: https://x.com/ssishuwa/status/1806326349511971094

64 COMMENTS

  1. Indeed some of HH’s actions don’t portray a person of sound mind. For example his utterances about Jay Jay Banda or his claim that he was on death roll don’t make sense at all but he seems to strongly believe that he’s right. This is the reason he’s found it difficult to convince people that he’s indeed addressing their problems. Why hasn’t he said anything about the abduction of Jay Jay when those very close to him have been implicated? It’s obvious he doesn’t think that it’s a serious offense or that Jay Jay deserves it because he’s got 3 wives that include 2 sisters.

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  2. Quite fair comment by Sishuwa Sishuwa here. I do tend to get this impression about some of HH’s public utterances. They suggest a President who has not bothered to think through some of the things he says publicly before saying them or even conferring with some members of his team of advisors.

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    • The only parrot who sees nothing wrong in the President’s utterances is that woman at the Human Rights Commission. Otherwise most people have given up on him.

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  3. He amazed me when he turned himself into an energy expert whilst in the UK, speaking about a subject he knows nothing about! He truly is a snake oil salesman. A perfect enabler for his western masters!!

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  4. Somebody needs to stop this drought story from our politicians somehow, he said he would be sworn in as President at 10hrs and exchange rate would improve by 14hrs, was there a drought between 10 and 14hrs on his inauguration. The worry is though is that there is absolutely no opposition with a convincing plan. They are given time to do poltical rallies, and they start speaking about ichunsu, missed call after missed call

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  5. The Bible doesn’t encourage hunger. If anything he reversed what the Bible recounts. FRA had stocked grain for emergencies just like Joseph in Egypt did in anticipation of a famine. Here our Chief in Charge did the opposite by selling our maize a head of this drought.

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    • By the way it’s not the children of Israel involved in these seven years plan. It’s the Egyptians. In case he was quoting from some other books…when Egypt saved the food, many nations who were affected by the famine trekked to Egypt for food including the children of Israel.

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    • Mukulumpe wetu. He cant grasp Economics, the other day he wondered why solar panel prices are still high after he had dropped some tariff, He cant grasp Religious Knowledge, He not only misinterprets scriptures he is a Seventh adventist who joins jews in their ritual on that wall in Israel. He cant grasp Political Science, he says all our leadership has been blind. (except him?) But he can only grasp Privatisation under the table!

  6. Question is… why was he not saying the same during ECL presidency? He does not have the EFFECT Factor on him, he is unapproachable according to those who have had chance to be close to him in the past. He has no UBUNTU in him, so self-centered, no feelings for the poor & hungry

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    • He came across as humble yet why he was timid was because he was scared of addressing the news media.- he didnt know what to say before them. Cant you see he is not a public speaker like Sata or Chiluba or the famous Fines Bulawayo. He just shouts nonsense “Ichunsu!” “Ichunsu!” Whats wrong with ichunsu Wewachensa pakanwa?

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  7. You ZEDIANS must never ever elect anyone who is mean like these chaps, you had it all going well, pipo were excited, building modern houses, travelling all over the world buying & selling their goods and services, every time i visited home from overseas i was so proud…. now it is NOT the same.

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  8. Today the nation is put on hold, no money in circulation. Was in ZED last month, you can see the despair of my pipo in their eyes, you ask yourself many questions.. at the airport you can see hh pipo with no customer service skills.. but kwena!!!!!! It takes you to live outside you nation to see whether you are progressing or not

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    • That’s piffle. Those are frontline civil servants at the airport neither appointed nor supervised by HH.

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    • Not true… I was at airport today and i was treated nicely… Fast and peacefully….
      Stop telling lies do u want the president to buy food for you fools

    • HH is imperfect like all of us but he’s still the best man for the job now. He’s presiding over a very tight budget but somehow he’s managing to take some essential public goods to every constituency where there’s a get-up-and-go MP.

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    • @Gunner in Zambia, you know pretty well that this guy HH is not even qualified to be a dog catcher. He can’t even run a lemonade stand. He’s as incompetent as they come. He has no clue as to what he’s doing. No solid convincing plan as to how he’ll fix the hunger issue, or load shedding. The Zambian economy is falling apart under his watch. He’s only good for one thing: Being a mzungu worshipping Western puppet. I thought corrupt lazy Lungu was terrible, no…HH takes the cake. Zambia should NEVER make the mistake of giving him another mandate to lead the country, come 2026.

  9. Apart from Kaunda, I am the only Zambian President to have met with King Charles.
    So what? How would that statement mitigate Zambia’s electricity, food and cost of living challenges? Let Chinama doctors do a thorough job on that head!

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    • I didn’t watch the presser HH had. Did he really say this? It was terribly out of place if he really did.

    • He should have been attending the inauguration of SA President, instead he went to report to his former colonizer and ask for pocket money!

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    • Gloria, that’s not a fair comment to make. The UK trip was arranged several weeks prior to the inauguration of Cyril Ramaphosa. In any case the inauguration was delayed for several days due to the need to come to an agreement with minority parties to join the ANC in a grand coalition. How could HH have committed himself when the date was not clear for a number of days? Zambia’s ties with the UK are a matter of historical fact. No amount of pretension is going to change that fact.

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    • @Gunner in Zambia, you must be HH’s puppeteer. He had no business wasting time and Zambian resources going to meet that British colonial symbol. He’s not our King. Zambians didn’t vote for HH to be making needless trips to the UK to meet colonizers. All these colonizers want from us is to continue exploiting our resources. Last time African leaders went to the UK, they were loaded up on a bus like little children. Because that’s how they see African leaders. Colonizers need to stay away from Africa and we’ll stay away from them.

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  10. About a year ago, I said we had a fraud for a president.

    When in opposition he said, “invest in agriculture so that we grow enough food to feed our people, and also store it, with global warming now, store it, to be a food storage for 1 to 3 years minimum. At all times under the UPND government, so that we can protect people from dying from hunger. That’s leadership, that’s responsibility. That’s not there in PF, that’s what we bring on the table as UNPD.”

    Now president: “Even the maize, in case you don’t know, you can’t keep the maize for 3 years, four years, what you produce, it will go bad.”

    The man easily forgets what he says.

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  11. HH praise singers on this platform are finding hard to convince pipo, they are bitter just like their father… guess a fruit does NOT fall far away from its tree. They will die with heart attack, must be hard to be a hardcore supporter of a team losing every time.. shame boys.. fimbopoke

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    • Every government needs a crisis. In the final analysis, all will be well. Don’t for one minute think that you’re speaking for all the people.

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    • Governments don’t need a crisis to prove their worth. They must avert crises by being proactive, alert. And when a disaster hits, leaders mustn’t rush to blame God. Our leaders scapegoat everyone and everything but not themselves.

      ..remember 8 years of plenty..
      and 7 years of what??_..
      Oh, you’re not Christians.. Me, I am an elder, serious SDAelder. Stop accusing me of being ungodly. This drought is Godly.

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    • My Zambia, it seems you do not even have a sense of humour. Surely you should distinguish between what HH says in jest and what he says seriously. If you have no sense of humour, chances are high that you have no sense at all.

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  12. Must be so hard to be upnd praise singers these days!!!!! They are trying so hard to convince us on LT with their bad hearts. They will die with heart attack, must be hard to be a hardcore supporter of a team losing every time.. shame boys.. fimbo poleke kikikikiki

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  13. Its very disappointing to see many Zambians wanting free things instead of working hard to solve the many problems we have. This same Suwa Suwa , just look at his dressing it tells a lot of things, if you dig deeper you will find that he is just depending from a salary without a salary he will end up at jack compound.

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    • We work hard but things have become expensive. Don’t ever accuse people as freeloaders. They work hard. I work hard but while to grow my maize cost me so much, I am only going to realize peanuts from my sweat. That’s what we’re complaining about. Some of the people who are not seeing these things are those who work in strategic positions where they are able to extort money from contractors.

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    • Suwa Suwa is not in government and doesn’t chew taxpayers’ money. At least he is not seeking a job like what other youths do and sacrifice good deeds for cadreism. To stand against any government is one of the huge sacrifices youths make. His head is well kempt and it is by choice that he left cheeks and chin flooded.
      We don’t choose where we are born; but where to live, whether in Jack, Misisi, Mahopu, Kanyana or Bauleni Compound

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    • These same countries that come to recommend the removal of subsidies have the biggest welfare and subsidies on their own citizens. Problem is many Zambians never travel and do not know how other countries work. Their main aim is to destabilize the country buy supporting despots like HH. While you are fighting each other they take away minerals and bring more weapons. Ask DRC Congo

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  14. Lastly look at suwa suwa he cannot manage to shave his beards meaning even managing himself he is failing so what advise can you get from that man????????

    I leave it there!

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  15. I told you guys,, these hh praise singers are so damn low lives. Deja Vu stop arguing with them, they are not smarter like you. They do not speak sense at all just like their masters ( they are hungry village empty buckets ).. they must just go.. we need our nation back. They see a sausage in a modern airport shame

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  16. You may not okay my comments people, the reality is that such kind of people dressed like a call boy in the corporate world no one will take him seriously. These are the people who we simply just say sit down and do not waist our time, this is the truth the dressing, the hair and the beards tells us that you cannot get anything sensible from him. These are just time waisters and he would do better to go and preach his kachasu message to the people in MISI compound not the elite.

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  17. SPOT ON! As it goes .. “Something is rotten in Denmark “ equally applies to State House and more importantly at Community House where real power rests. The empower has no clothes but none of the Presidents men have the courage to tell their boss the truth. HH’s comments on ‘biblical hunger’ are a window into the mind of a leader insulated and looking to save himself from the ship that is taking on water so fast, it’s not longer a unusual to wonder if they’ll even last till the next election.

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  18. Nobody survives Jameson Kachasu Lungu’s Mukobeko normal HH is suffering from the Post Traumatic Kulimonesha-ta Syndrome (PTKS). His pomposity and know it all attitude has started stinking too mush, incobebeni ncobeni suntwe waka sondokide pe!

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  19. This is a state of the art piece by Sishuwa. It chronicles most of the events that tell a compelling reason why Hakainde needs psychiatric evaluation. Some of us indicated this in his first year of into presidency. It was clear from most of his statements but we thought he was just a conman but evidently it may indeed be worse than that. Hakainde may need both serious prayers and psychiatric help. His advisors may not be qualified to handle both. We really empathise with him. Especially that he presides over important institutions of our great nation. It is a sobering moment for our nation.His advisors and his paid vuvuzelas and bootlickers need serious de briefing.

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  20. What Zambia is going through now is a very very good opportunity for us to amend our constitution so that whoever gets into presidency will have been tested and proved. In South Africa you will only become a president if you have been to parliament. In Zambia the risk of having a potential psychiatric case or even worse has been very high because of our porous constitution which does not scrutinise candidates other than the grade 12 certificate. Here we are with a potentially very serious situation. The “west” are aware but they would rather selfishly get the best out of it. And they continue to pumper a potential psychiatric case.

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  21. And imagine a President boasting that he took a picture with King Charles….HH has some serious mental issues…..How do we up with leaders like Lungu or HH???? Just how….i mean like seriously we can do better than that

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  22. And the problem with the youths is that they’re only revolutionary when they’re hungry…once you give them good positions in government then they forget about being revolutionary and they start stealing and wasting tax payers money…good example is Pilato….he only cared about Zambia because his belly was empty…but now his mouth is full so to hell with being revolutionary…its now time to steal and make himself rich

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  23. And unfortunately in Zambia the youths have become gullible praise singers…they line up the street and cheer the President when he is pass in a 300 car gassgazzling motorcade…the jump up and down when the President is making nonsensical unnecessary foreign trips in a private jet wasting tax payers money …ZAMBIAN YOUTHS NEED TO WAKE UP….LEARN SOMETHING FROM THE KENYAN YOUTHS

  24. …….

    The noise is only on LT , and in tarvens…..

    Most zambians know where we are comming from , and ……..

    Most importantly majority of zambians know where we are going with HH……

    Forwadee 2031……..to the promised land

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  25. I think voters also should be taken for Psychiatric evaluation…..i think voters have some serious mental problems by voting for Chainama Patients Hakainde Hichilema and Edgar Lungu

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  26. HH ignore these lunatics infact Shuwa Shuwa whatever you call him should concentrate on lecturing, I wonder what students he will graduate. Firstly the man is dirty and filthy to the core. His looks are those of an escape inmate from some forsaken mental asylum. And all those cry babies we are ELC’s mushanina bwalis.
    Shame on all of you and please pic a hoe and fine an acre and cutivate

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  27. I did not believe my mt ears when i heard him say: “Zambia is a guinea pig for the IMF”. He said it with such pride and confidence. How can a nation sixty years after independence be made a test case? The economy is Zambia is straight forward very similar to our neighbors. We are a resource backed economy just like Angola, Zimbabwe, Namibia, South Africa. We ran the economy properly by benefiting for our mineral wealth, mainly copper! That is the way it has always been and to go on a wild goose chase with the IMF is just plain deceit or gross irresponsibility.

  28. But that beard of Sishuwa Sishuwa also, it looks like a Nyambe Likumuca or indeed the notoious Adamson Bratson Mushala.

  29. It is a pity that even people who learned and are supposed to understand things choose to turn a blind eye and fall into the trap of opposition to simply distort the actual view of the real situation. Freedom is really nice and it is actually nice to read about such though. Often mentally sick people will see others to be sick or challenged, we have seen this several times and I wonder if this is the case we are witnessing now.

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