Hichilema’s Leadership Shines Amidst Unfounded Criticisms by Socialist Party President Fred Mmembe
By Lucky Munakampe(Munati Television)
In recent days, the political landscape in Zambia has witnessed Socialist Party President Dr. Fred Mmembe leveling criticisms against Republican President Hakainde Hichilema. However, considering Dr. Mmembe’s questionable track record, one must scrutinize the credibility of his accusations. His past, marked by the liquidation of his company for tax avoidance and failure to meet statutory obligations, raises serious doubts about his ability to manage the national treasury.
Adding to the skepticism is Dr. Mmembe’s curious alliance with the former ruling party, the Patriotic Front (PF). Under PF rule, Zambia faced severe human rights abuses, rampant corruption, and an atmosphere of fear perpetuated by cadre violence. Dr. Mmembe’s association with the PF, accused of stifling democratic space during its reign, raises eyebrows when he now accuses President Hichilema of similar offenses without providing concrete evidence.
Critically, Dr. Mmembe’s accusations about President Hichilema’s alleged refusal to declare assets conveniently overlook the fact that the PF removed this requirement from the law prior to the 2021 General Elections. This deliberate omission in Dr. Mmembe’s critique exposes a lack of specificity and raises questions about the sincerity of his claims.
Contrastingly, President Hichilema has a track record of integrity. His consistent declarations of wealth since entering politics in 2006, except for the 2021 elections when the provision was removed, reflect transparency and accountability.
Moving beyond baseless allegations, President Hichilema’s leadership has achieved significant milestones within just two years:
1. Anti-Corruption Drive: President Hichilema’s commitment to fighting corruption goes beyond rhetoric. Ministers and permanent secretaries facing legal issues have been held accountable, either resigning or being dismissed.
2. Pension Reforms: Introducing a 20% partial withdrawal for qualifying individuals to invest in business ventures, promoting economic empowerment.
3. Retirement Benefits: Resolving decades-long outstanding retirement benefits, providing financial relief to retirees.
4. CDF Budget Increase: Significantly raising the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) budget from K1.6 million to nearly K30 million, empowering youth and women in business and fostering community-driven development.
5. Healthcare Improvements: Recruiting additional healthcare professionals, completing abandoned projects, and ensuring the availability of essential medicines in public hospitals.
6. Economic Development: President Hichilema’s proactive approach to debt restructuring, mining policy changes, and agriculture reforms demonstrate a commitment to economic growth, job creation, and food security.
7. Education Empowerment: The recruitment of over 30,000 teachers underscores President Hichilema’s commitment to enhancing the education system, ensuring a brighter future for Zambia’s youth.
8. Strengthening National Security: The enlistment of over 6,000 youths into the Zambia Defense Forces demonstrates a strategic move towards bolstering national security, addressing unemployment, and providing opportunities for the nation’s youth.
As Zambia’s debt restructuring nears completion, coupled with visionary policies, President Hichilema is steering the nation towards a brighter economic future. His encouragement for citizens to engage in cattle ranching and support for local manufacturing of fertilizer contribute to job creation and reduced production costs.
In conclusion, President Hichilema’s tangible achievements speak louder than baseless accusations. Despite Dr. Mmembe’s criticism, President Hichilema remains the people’s favorite, and his transformative leadership continues to instill confidence in the citizens of Zambia.