HH personal farm programme took National focus from fighting cholera
It is curious that President Hakainde Hichilema is now reported to have cut short his holiday in Southern Province.
We are forced to ask whether his holiday has been cut or he has, in fact, concluded his programme.
The President also seems to have made his decision shortly after one opposition party leader posted a message asking what he was still engaged in personal work at his farm while the numbers of Zambians dying of cholera are on the increase.
If we were President Hichilema’s handlers we would have ensured whatever he was doing personally did not receive the kind of image building coverage that virtually all the government-aligned media accorded him.
For days, they have filled printed and online media outlets with President and his wife inspecting, vaccinating cattle, picking wild vegetable delicacies and other activities, taking away the country’s vital focus from the struggle by the Minjstry of Health to control the spread of cholera.
If the President felt his family programme was more important than his personal close involvement in the fight against cholera, his handlers should at least have blacked out his daily public relations coverage.
The number new cases of cholera and deaths recorded daily have been increasing. In the last 24 hours, 27 Zambians died of cholera.
Is it only now that PreIdent Hichilema has been moved to cut short his holiday? Why?
Others argue that the President can not be faulted because he was within the country. It is true he was within the country but it was better for citizens to be seeing Healh Minister Sylvia Masebo running around arranging Beds for Patients than seeing the President addressing people.
During the Hurrican Katrina in the United States of America ( USA) President George Bush was within the country but took long to act. The area which was ravaged by the Hurricane is predominantly black. Bush faced a Fall out in this area.
It is important therefore that Presidential Handlers understand the sensitivity of such actions because they unnecessarily bring contempt and ridicule to the Presidency. These small, small things can cause serious misrepresentation.
It should not be mandatory that everything the President is doing should be fed to the public. Praise Singers Twapapata. What we have stated here is just an illustration of what we would do if we were Presidential Handlers in the midst of a serious Cholera Outbreak
Credit: Zambian Whistleblower