HICHILEMA’S DISASTROUS RESPONSE TO CHOLERA
Mr Hakainde Hichilema’s sluggish and disastrous response to the cholera outbreak in the country, especially in Lusaka is unacceptable and a major embarrassment to his government.
By not returning to Lusaka in time while the pandemic ravaged the capital city, with the number of deaths on the rise each day, Mr Hichilema showed serious lack of empathy for the people and a rare leadership insensitivity that this country has never seen in political leadership before.
It is common knowledge that the prevailing cholera outbreak has overwhelmed our health system. The health staff is overstretched, the infrastructure is inadequate, and medical supplies are not enough yet the President chose to be on vacation for such a lengthy period. He chose to conduct a spot-check of his cattle farms and provided daily public updates on the state of his animals, whilst the unforgiving cholera epidemic was mercilessly claiming lives, with clinics and hospital floors littered with dying patients, and hopeless and desperate relatives trying to assist the medical staff.
Abantu balefwa ena alependa ing’ombe! What type of a person is Mr Hichilema? What kind of insensitive behavior is this? When people are dying helplessly due to excessive congestion in health care facilities coupled with other logistical and administrative challenges, the President is not bothered or moved to immediately return and provide the much needed frontline support and assistance to the health system, which is on the verge of collapsing.
Clearly, animals on his cattle farms became a priority over dying citizens.
But we are not surprised at all because this is how cumulative mindsets operate. For them, every activity is more about personal gain rather than human beings. These are people who are preoccupied with the usage of power, influence and resources to advance personal interests and profits, and not to help the vulnerable people.
No wonder counting and vaccinating his animals came first at the expense of human life. He found it extremely urgent and necessary to stay away and provide vaccines for his animals and not the dying masses in Kanyama, Mandevu, Matero and other compounds in the city that have been hit by cholera. This is a failed leadership on all fronts and this President is a disaster!
And let him not posture that he cut his holiday to comeback and attend to the cholera situation because the truth is, he finished his all business at his cattle farms.
We refuse to look at the recent happenings in the handling of the cholera outbreak as above politics and place the blame on Mr Hichilema.
All this sluggish and disastrous response to the pandemic is a result of systematic profiteering politics that have become a norm under this corrupt puppet tribal regime.
If there is a person responsible for the worsening cholera situation, it is Mr Hichilema and his regime who failed to prepare for this problem, which occurs literally every year especially in Lusaka. This is not a one off situation but rather an annual occurrence where with proper planning and resource mobilization, they should have prepared for it way ahead of time, like previous governments used to do.
We urge Mr Hichilema stop posing and start working. Several lives of people are being destroyed by this disease daily. And we cannot afford to have a relaxed and pretentious response from him and his government.
This regime must realize that what we are faced with today, is a very serious and desperate situation that requires achievable immediate and longterm interventions.
We need a sensitive and swift leadership in order to protect lives.
President of the Socialist Party