By Dr Given Mutinta
Besides the obvious reason the United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema (HH) is celebrated for as one of the wealthy Zambians he is also wealthy in statesmanship.
This is partially revealed in the eminent individuals who are joining UPND. A few weeks ago they welcomed the stouthearted Dr. Canisius Banda and this week the dauntless Mutale Nalumango.
Conventional wisdom holds that good leaders who run great companies attract great people and the same can be said about political parties. It is dawning upon many people that HH and UPND have the aptitude to build a consensus to achieve the national vision that can stir up development in this country.
HH’s qualities more than his wealth makes him a leader the more serious-minded Zambians should support. Whatever criteria beyond hair and quips one might use to evaluate and judge him, he still comes out as a statesman in greater depth.
He is an authentic symbol of real change Zambia needs. He deserves a vote if we mean it when we say we need development. He has the necessary entrepreneurial knowledge, skills and experience to give this country encyclopedic leadership. He has expertise in business administration, privatisation, financial services, farming, accounting, and others.
If the adage that the qualities and performance of a leader determines the performance of a nation is true, then a leader like HH can make a better president. He has contemporary knowledge and experience in economics, financial services and business as compared to an illiterate politician. His expertise are enough to assure people of value in his business, financial and economic decisions.
He is a statesman able to question the satisfactoriness of financial controls. He is able to rebut extortionate tenders and understand which sectors can make Zambia’s economy sturdier. Besides, he has expertise in deciphering statutory instruments that would be deleterious to business, trade, partnerships, policy engagements and growing economy
His qualities are priceless as they support key sectors for national development. He knows what it takes to influence significant positive contribution to sustainable socio-economic development and stability. His abilities are tailored to addressing job creation as he is a top employer in the country. Surely, he is able to influence business growth this country needs.
Through his massive business empire he has demonstrated how a business can flourish in the Zambian economy. He undeniably comprehends what it takes for an economy and business to grow and be in the black.
HH is an asset to this country because he can make economic and businesses decisions that can benefit the whole nation. He is not like an outdated leader we have who makes decisions that help individuals and lobbying groups that support him the most.
He is a statesman who understands the benefits of spending national resources on development projects not on induced and senseless by-elections that dissipate public funds. HH can bring financial soberness lacking in the sitting regime.
Being a business and an economic guru he knows when it is necessary to cut pork from the budget as evidenced in his criticism of Sata’s profligate and wasteful regime.
Zambia needs a leader like HH able to work well with others regardless of their tribe or region and establish public long term national objectives that are clearly communicated to all people.
The strength of HH’s character is also evidenced in his fight for the poor masses when he is stinking rich. Not even his wealth can make him unworried about the underprivileged. This sounds off his genuine concern for the country. His pursuit for leadership is not for self-aggrandisement but to help the poor get out of the oubliette and abyss of poverty.
What is also clear is his bedrock of principles. His political platform is built on a foundation of stable and fundamental truths. This is demonstrated in the consistency of his words and actions showing that these are the things he believes in at his very core.
Everyone knows how some dissolute media houses have tried without success to mix up lies against him as a way of thrashing his principles. But the foundation of his overarching philosophy is solid. As a result, the black propaganda against him has failed to break him down.
The same black propagandists accused him of being inconsistent by supporting corruption when as a law abiding citizen he called for the due process to be followed in lifting Rupiya Banda’s (RB) immunity.
Those who know HH can confirm that he is one consistent person who may change the details of his policies and his methods for achieving those policies, but only inasmuch as those tactics of expediency serve the purpose of furthering his bedrock of principles in the long run. This is unfeigned consistency and a mark of a great leader Zambia needs.
It is also open for everyone to see that his moral compass is sharper than for those computing media discourses of hate against him. Thus, he is a leader able to make laudable decisions that can bring real change to society.
He does not believe in leading by public opinion polls. Instead, he is a statesman who makes his decisions by following the dictates of his moral compass informed by conscientious principles, and views of party members. That is the reason he has never entertained tribalism and corruption.
Zambia needs a leader of HH’s caliber able to speak straight from the shoulder when something is wrong and able to take action to fight against it no matter how many times one is incarcerated. Without HH’s voice the sitting regime would have put this country in their pocket. This explains why people today prefer to present their problems to him than to the sitting regime. His growing and unstoppable popularity is based on a down-to-earth vision, not lies and deceptions.
There is no doubt that he is ambitious but rightly so as he has the right qualities for a national leader. He is a man of integrity. As a result, in all his campaigns and talks he speaks the truth not lies and deceptions.
Just like he is leading UPND by moral authority and represents all that is best in all people, he can do the same at the national level.
We should honestly search our souls on the future of this country. HH is one leader who is heavy with a vision this country needs to set sail on the road to nation development. Consciously, he understands where his team wants to take this country and what it will take to get there.
His foresight informed by his expertise in economics, business and financial services are his important assets this country and future generations can benefit from.
He is able to build a consensus hinged on his vision and make Zambians see and support the soundness of his winning philosophy as a businessperson.
Being a statesman he has never used lies and slick campaigns to win the hearts of the people. For him, lies and propaganda are the tools of the visionless, despots and illiterates.
Therefore, in him the power of education, great books of economics and business, and the lessons of history are harnessed not to allow him to speak to the people in lies but with intelligent and well-reasoned arguments. He will never make the Zambian hearts soar and burn with empty ‘ninety days’ promises. This is what modern-day politics entail.
Even those who concoct lies against him know very well that he has qualities a statesman should espouse. He is a model with bedrock of principles resting on the ideal of business, development, democratic liberty, equality and individual freedom currently under threat.
Thus, HH is a statesman and an example of virtuous economic and political behaviour coupled with good moral judgment that many Zambians can model themselves on.
Unless we transcend our idiosyncrasies we will not see the broader picture he has for the whole country. He has a reliable vision that can lead to genuine change and more freedom for all people.