When ZAMBIANS went to the polls last year, we knew that one of the first things any new government needed to do was to restore our position as a premier destination for global investment.

In order to achieve this, we first needed a respectable place on the global round table and ensure that we were part of the conversation.

We wish to commend President HAKAINDE HICHILEMA for his sustained campaign to market Zambia. Today, we can all see how this sustained effort is starting to bear fruit. Zambia is on the podium, the world is watching, and the world is paying attention and listening.

This is the dream of every progressive leader of a nation; to gain the confidence of like minded nations and be able to transform foreign contacts into economic contacts for investment and development.

On the flip side of the same coin, we are also mindful that the President is doing this against the background of relentless calls for him to curtail his foreign travels. This is in order to save money, as he promised during the campaign period, and of course this is understandably so. We are currently nursing an economy in ICU with a debt burden of over 30 Billion United States Dollars inherited from the previous regime.

In addition, we are mindful of those who are hell-bent on accruing political capital arising from this harsh period of economic transformation to label the President a “puppet of the west”, a “sell out”, and a “puppet of imperialists and multi-lateral financial organisations”.

We wish to warn our fellow ZAMBIANS that this is not a time to play games with the destiny of the country. This is a time for sober, considered, measured and honest introspection in approaching the issues and the process of fixing the economy.

We are happy that this President has not fallen prey to the temptation of suspending these trips which we all know he must undertake if he is to jump-start the process of fixing of the economy, just for him to impress social media critics and in order to appear consistent with a facebook post he may have made.

We know from experience that leadership sometimes requires that you depart from your own previous statement for the greater good of the citizenry.

To quote, President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa who once said,

“In the pursuit of development and justice for all, I would rather do that which is right today, than be consistent with what I believed yesterday”.

This is because as leaders, we are not infallible. We sometimes make statements based on assumption which differ from the actual reality we find once elected. We urge this President to continue being sober, and to apply wisdom and intelligence in achieving the most IMPORTANT objectives, because that’s what counts the most and that’s what he will be judged on, after five years.

In the same vain, we wish to place on record that every leader and every government or nation decides how it will relate with other countries and it’s preferences.

We urge our colleagues in the UPND to ignore those that currently wage a propaganda war against them, calling them “puppets of the west” After all, we have all been called names before, and it is part of politics.

If relating with the west amounts to being a puppet of the west, then surely, those who are waging this war and prefer that we create an East facing foreign policy must also be termed as “puppets of the East” either way, we will have East facing policies or West facing policies competing for the preferred partner with Zambia. What should guide us must be our values as a sovereign nation and how we choose to posture on the global geopolitical stage.

Well done HH. We are back on the global round table.

Dr. Nevers Sekwila Mumba
President, MMD


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