It has become urgent and necessary for Hakainde Hichilema to make public his declaration of assets and liabilities. He does not need any permission from anyone to do this, and he will not be violating our Constitution or any law. His behaviour and utterances lately make this demand extremely urgent. Why are the courts taking so long to pronounce on this matter?
Supporters of Hakainde Hichilema must be adoringly lapping up every word of self-acclaim, self-praise and apparent acts of generosity from their leader, as expected of course. As for good UPND members, it is both their political duty and right to do so. People admire rich people; they even imbue them with mystical powers – how else could these people have become rich, especially in a country as poor as Zambia, if not by miraculous super natural powers? Time has come for Hakainde to make public the information of his wealth and liabilities, so that those who so wish, may learn how he became rich and interpret his behaviour in office correctly.
The UPND was in opposition for a very long time, more than two decades; long enough to build a very loyal, patriotic and quite frankly, unshakable fanatical following. Is this a good or a bad thing? Zambia is about to find out, after our 12th August, 2021 elections. Anyone who doubts the existence of this following need only write negatively about Hakainde on social media and they will confirm, if they are emotionally weak, perhaps at the cost of their health, the strength of this following!
A few things though, about Hakainde Hichilema’s personal character in office have begun to manifest themselves. I am perfectly happy to be confirmed wrong, and showered with all the possible insults from the UPND zealots and Hakainde’s fanatical mobs– I am ready to fight to protect their right to fully express themselves, no matter how insulting and offensive this may be, to me.
I also agree, it may be too soon to begin to form a solid opinion about the political character of Hakainde as a president. Comfort is drawn from the fact that this is a man though who has begged Zambians for their vote to be president six times and failed five of those, in a period stretching for fifteen years. It is all to easy to notice changes in the character of such a politician we have lived with this long!
Hakainde never opens his mouth without reminding us of the deplorable state Zambia had sunk into, by the time he became president last year. Nothing wrong about this, until you remind yourself that in fact he was elected also because he presented himself as having almost miraculous intellectual, professional and business acumen gifts to turn the fortunes of Zambia around. More than any other president of Zambia, Hakainde himself, in the manner he over sold himself to Zambians, dwarfed the crises Zambia is facing with his trumped-up capacity to confront these crises. Most Zambians are fast waking up to the realisation of a salesman who has conned them.
To sustain the illusion that he is supper rich and we do not deserve him, he is now telling us he does not bother about his salary. He says he is so focused on serving us, his salary does not cross his mind at all. He now wants to do things to his salary to grow it and use it on some “beneficiaries”. His fanatical following is happily swallowing every word about this clever generosity.
Nothing wrong with this until you ask yourself why exactly he suffered so much to be given the opportunity “to serve Zambians”, for such a long time, and at such a great cost? It does not make rational or business sense to repeatedly beg millions of miserable under privileged Zambians for more than 15 years, 5 lost expensive elections, only so that one can “serve them”. What exactly is in it for Hakainde Hichilema, in the presidency of Zambia?
Hakainde says together with his wife, they have unilaterally abolished their children’s right to serve in the Zambian government in order to create room for us the underprivileged Zambians, to take up such jobs. How generous! I hope Hakainde did tell his children that he is actually our employee, we Zambians, through the tax we pay, whom he has begged for the job of president six times. Could it be that Hakainde does not see himself as an employee of the Zambian people, in their government? Should this be the case, we all must be very worried. An employee is just that; an employee paid to do a job. An employee is not an unpaid volunteer.
It is in the matter of corruption and the need to seek full justice for the harm done to the people of Zambia by thieves and the corrupt that Hakainde demonstrates a strange relationship with the law and the fight against corruption. Hakainde has confirmed that thieves and the corrupt are free to hand over their stolen loot in exchange for not going to jail – they could ask for amnesty – a very clear glaring contradiction from his statement on immunity. Amnesty from prosecution is immunity by other means; surely Hakainde knows this? For example, Faith Musonda was given immunity from prosecution, in exchange for some of the loot in her possession.
Granted, it may be less costly to get some of the loot thieves and the corrupt took away illegally from Zambians, rather than let the government actually spend more in investigations, trials, and keeping in jail the thieves and the corrupt. Unfortunately, this route does not help us as a country to fight corruption – without the actual threat of suffering in jail for a long time, it is hard to imagine what will stop the current crop of politicians in government taking chances with our government money and their offices: after all, when caught all they have to do is simply hand over a portion and they will be free from prosecution.
And of course, there is the justice demanded by Zambians who are victims of these thieves and corrupt people. Stealing government money causes suffering and death. Surely such vermin in fact may not deserve to live, when caught and convicted? If the current law is insufficient for punishing thieves and the corrupt, why is Hakainde not changing the law?
One gets a distinct sense Hakainde thinks we all must be cheering him for increasing CDF allocation and the apparent “free education”. And of course, for the possible 43 000 new jobs in government. All this is from Zambian money, not from the pockets of Hakainde. While commendable, there is nothing fundamentally radical or generous about all this. All of them need better articulation and implementation than they are at present.
Hichilema has not moved into State House because Zambians cannot afford the cost of the renovations to the House. He apparently weirdly travels everywhere with his own chair. What the hell is going on? What is Hakainde turning into, before our eyes, now that he is president of Zambia? Perhaps it is time it was sharply brought to the attention of Hakainde Hichilema who, exactly, is the president of Zambia?
Even the poorest Zambian pays tax, even if it is only through VAT, some of which is used to employ the president of Zambia, including Hakainde. Collectively, Zambians are the employers of all politicians in government. Through the ballot, Zambians select the ones they choose to employ, for the moment.
Hichilema is fast teaching us that being elected president does not change anything about the moral, intellectual and knowledge capabilities of such a person, let alone does it make them more superior than anybody else. We, their employers, must examine every word and act of every second of their stay in office and ask: in whose interests is this vote beggar we elected and employed as president working?
A powerful lesson from Hichilema is that no person must be offered the job of president of Zambia without Zambians learning everything important about such a person, including details of their wealth and how exactly they made it. Without that, the country risks being constantly insulted by an incumbent president, and frisked of our wealth and dignity.
Hakainde Hichilema must release, now, for public viewing, his declaration of assets and liabilities.We need, belatedly, to know who exactly he is.
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