People in Zambia have asked President Hakainde Hichilema to forego his attention on past regimes by focusing on his own tenure if he is to realise his promise of building a better Zambia.
The remarks follows an interview that the Zambian President made upon his arrival at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport from the UK where he went primarily for the COP26 conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
When asked to comment on accusations that he was a tribalist, the President hit back that such accusations were being championed by a “clique of thieves” that has been running Zambia since the country’s independence in 1964 and that he was not bothered by such accusations.
“That’s mischief by the tribalists, the hegemonists who did not want this country to be run by anyone else other than a clique of thieves like them. I call them a clique of thieves because they have been feeding off public resources from independence and they don’t think that someone else can run the country in a better way to redistribute jobs and resources”, said President Hichilema, fondly known as HH or Bally, an informal term for father.
HH said he was more committed to redistribute jobs across the country unlike in the past when the country was divided and run by the “clique of thieves”.
“In the last 10 years, cabinet came from only four provinces. Today, the cabinet comes from all the 10 provinces. You should be proud of that. Whoever is motivating you to ask the questions should be proud of that” he said, suggesting the reporter was an agent of the very opposition who were accusing him of tribalism.
Hakainde told to focus on his tenure: Accused of talking bad of Zambia
“I have not heard any other leader standing in front of the whole world only to talk bad about his own country.”
— Malawi24 (@Malawi24) November 11, 2021
However, HH’s remarks did not go down well with some social commentators who argued that President Hichilema brandished all past presidents as failures and that he was wasting the required energy on past regimes.
“Your excellency, I know you are still bitter with the Patriotic Front (PF) but it was not necessary to involve the other five leaders that served before ECL (Edgar Chagwa Lungu) in your issue”, commented Dominic Libusha.
Mugala Bernard, another commentator, accused Hichilema of negatively tainting Zambia’s image at global level.
“You Excellency, I request that you change your perception about our nation. I have not heard any other leader standing in front of the whole world only to talk bad about his own country. This is your country and it is our country, hence the need to preserve and protect its integrity”, remarked Mr Bernard.
There were, however, several others who defended Bally and urged him to “put on his white gloves” to clear the swamp that has been looting Zambia.