By Ackim Mumba
Dear editor, I am a retired miner on the Copperbelt and I wish to comment on president Sata’s disclosure and criticism of Hakainde Hichilema’s wealth.
I was taken a back when I read the story because I could not understand what the president was trying to achieve. The president said HH’s wealth is valued at K360 billion and released a write up indicating the properties he owned and also the money he holds in his ZANACO bank account.
The president wondered how a person “who had not worked” for a long time could have so much wealth when people who had been working for many years could not dream of getting that rich.
To me as an observer, that disclosure and statement against HH was so demeaning to president Sata himself and exposed the president’s shortcomings and growing hatred [or is it fear] against HH. In the first place I asked myself, what could lead the whole president to continue focusing on HH at the expense of addressing numerous unfulfilled campaign promises such as enacting the National Constitution, enacting the Freedom of Information Bill, giving national coverage licences to all community radio stations, Restoring the Barotse agreement, putting more money in everyone’s pocket, etc within 90 days of taking over power?
I thought that the statement showed how far Mr. Sata can go in abusing his powers by ordering banks to release the personal account details of a citizen who is not under any form of investigation and without any court order.
Secondly, it also reflects on the limited understanding of the president with regards to wealth creation. According to Mr. Sata, only people are employed and working are supposed to be rich. This is myopic thinking because most of the rich people around the world such as Bill Gates are self-employed.
Thirdly, when I read the list of HH’s investment portfolios as released by Mr. Sata, I was left without any doubt that he was a business tycoon per excellent and was what Zambia needed for leadership to end poverty among the majority of us in a country endowed with a lot of resources which are enriching business minded investors who are mostly foreigners.
Editor, I was particularly impressed to learn that HH had shares in Pick and Pay, Game stores among other companies that have employed so many Zambians. I further noted that he did not have enough liquid cash as most of his wealth was either in animals, properties or business.
I them could not waste time wondering how HH’s wealth was growing fast and he was always talking about the need for a leadership that has the ability to create wealth for the nation so that everyone can benefit because people cannot share poverty.
I should also note that HH created his wealthy outside politics, unlike many people who rely on stealing national treasury such as Sata’s greedy action to increase his salary by 100 percent in order to catch-up with creative people like HH.
Finally, it is not only HH who has shares in companies in Zambia and it was clear to every reasonable mind that the decision by Mr. Sata was pure sour grapes and retrogressive political machination that is taking away a real opportunity from Zambians to experience real and capable national leadership.
It is high time as Zambians we stopped celebrating poverty and criminalizing wealth while foreigners are making it in our own country due to lack of leadership.
The business prowess of HH are truly impressive and in my humble view, he is among the few business tycoons Zambia should be proud of and he needs support as a national leader so that he can help create national wealth and end poverty in the land of plenty.
This is unlike our president who has been in formal employment from colonial days and all he keeps declaring are 7 guns which have no benefits to majority Zambians, unless he has been cheating.
Editor’s Note: In case you missed the story released by President Sata to the media, here it is as published by Zambia Daily Mail: