Emmanuel Hachipuka has voiced his concerns regarding President Hichilema’s approach to governance in Zambia, particularly focusing on the mining sector and the utilization of allocated funds.
Reflecting on past African leaders, Hachipuka draws a parallel with the late President Mugabe’s land reforms in Zimbabwe and their adverse impact on the economy. He critiques the methods employed, arguing that they were harsh towards the white population, many of whom were born in Zimbabwe. Hachipuka points out that the consequences were not limited to international sanctions but also encompassed the mass exodus of skilled laborers, contributing to the economic downturn and the loss of Zimbabwe’s status as a regional food basket.
Shifting the focus to Zambia’s current political landscape, Hachipuka acknowledges President Hichilema’s rise to power based on his education, intelligence, and the popularity of the UPND party. However, he emphasizes that the president should recognize that the country’s direction should be determined collectively by the majority of Zambians.
Hachipuka states, “Whatever Hichilema does, he must remember that the country is not his alone but the majority shall decide the country’s direction.” He further adds, “No individual shall be regarded as God in this Republic.”
Mr Hachipuka urged President Hichilema to be more receptive to public opinion and to consider the viewpoints of various segments of society, including the church. He cautions against surrounding himself with “yes bwanas” and highlights the dwindling time for effective governance.
“Time is running out,” warns Hachipuka. “He should desist from surrounding himself with ‘yes bwanas.’ For example, the most important aspect of our lives is the Mining Industry, which he has put at the back of an envelope. The Copperbelt is more important than anything else to all Zambians and is bigger than life.”
Expressing concerns about the president’s debt restructuring approach, Hachipuka questions the consultants advising President Hichilema, referring to the successful debt cancellation under President Levy Mwanawasa and Magande’s leadership.
Hachipuka raises additional concerns, pointing to the allocation of funds meant for debt service on programs like the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). He demands transparency and accountability, urging an explanation for the use of these funds.
He stresses, “We are appearing to have money for CDF and many more because we are not servicing debt. We are postponing the doomsday.”
As the country approaches the next elections, Hachipuka emphasizes the urgency of addressing these concerns and taking necessary actions to safeguard Zambia’s economy and the welfare of its people.
“It is not only HH that can decide the country’s direction alone,” Hachipuka asserts. “Whatever he does, he must remember that the country is not his alone but the majority shall decide the country’s direction. At every election, the majority Zambians will decide through an Election.”
Hachipuka concludes by posing a thought-provoking question, suggesting that President Hichilema may be unduly influenced by local and foreign sponsors, which could impair his ability to foresee the potential consequences of his actions.
“With all of this said, is HH so enveloped/held hostage by our sponsors which could include outsiders and the team around him such that they cannot see the impact of what is ahead of us?” questions Hachipuka.