PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema says he does a lot of things when he travels out of the country.

So far President Hichilema has taken nine international trips since September 2021, with his last fall being undertaken in the month of January.

The President has visited the following countries:
1. United States of America (New York) – September 19, 2021
2. United Kingdom (Scotland)– October 31, 2021
3. South Africa – November 15, 2021
4. Botswana (Kasane) – November 20
5. Democratic Republic of Congo – November 23, 2021
6. Malawi – December 7, 2021
7. Malawi – January 12, 2021
8. Dubai (Abu Dhabi) – January 20, 2022
9. South Africa – January 26, 2022

According to a post by The Brenthurst Foundation on Facebook on January 14, 2022, President Hichilema would be a guest speaker at a book launch.

“Join us on 26th January for the launch of Dr Greg Mills’ latest book “Expensive Poverty – Why Aid Fails and how it can Work”. Newly elected President Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia will also be joining us as a guest speaker.#BookLaunch #ExpensivePoverty,” the post read.

And when asked to comment on assertions that the book launch was the major reason why he was going to South Africa shortly before take off, Wednesday, the Head of State said he had been part of the book review panel for 15 years.

“When I go out, I do lots of things. I went to UAE, Abu Dhabi, Dubai [and] we met different people, even the youths, you remember I had a platform with the youths that was part of the programme. When you are there, you fill in other things. If you look at that book, it’s a wonderful book. It is talking about how you can use aid to deliver development, to deliver jobs. It’s all connected. So, there is nothing wrong. I don’t know if you know that I have been part of the book review panel for 15 years, a global book review panel. If you check a lot of books, you will find my notations. So this is not new, it is a continuation of what we have been doing. For students, I encourage you to read that book you will find a lot of value,” President Hichilema said.

When asked also asked to comment on some critics who had opposed his trip, the President said he was not sure what the reaction was all about.

He said he was having discussions around security with President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“I am not sure what the reaction is all about. This is the extension of our Lilongwe meeting – security. I am sure you know what is going on in Mozambique Cabo Delgado region and we are sharing a border with Mozambique so we are having discussions around security with the chairman of security organ who is President Ramaphosa. Part of our responsibility is the safety of our people, all of you, everybody, all of us. And of course, when we do that, we always have a priority alongside trade, investment. I am sure you know South Africa is our leading trade and investment partner. So, security trade and investment that’s it,” said President Hichilema.

“So I understand what people would be saying but one of our jobs it to set the parameters to get the processes in place because this economy really had been run down and our job is to bring it up and you will be very happy soon as citizens.”